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The Possiblity of Evil
Transcript of The Possiblity of Evil
A small town, presumably in the 1950s based on the details of the town itself. Atmosphere seems to be happy and cheery but in reality it is full of anxiety and tension between people.
The Possibility of Evil
By Shirley Jackson
When Miss Strangeworth walked to the grocery store and talked to Mr. Lewis
Organized, neat, old-fashioned,
traditional environment. (Grocery store, post office, church, library etc.)
Good vs Evil
– Miss Adela Strangeworth has lived in her little town her entire life, and her family has lived there for over one hundred years
-Miss Strangeworth finds herself, the next day, a recipient of an anonymous letter, suggesting that she “Look out at what used to be [her] roses”, into which she has invested a great deal of time and energy.
- Miss Adela Strangeworth (round)
- Mr. Lewis, Senior (round)
- Mrs. Martha Harper (flat)
- Don and Helen Crane (flat)
-Man vs. Man – Miss Adela Strangeworth vs. the townspeople. She thinks it is her duty to keep people aware of the possibility of evil that is among them when in fact the evil among them is really her all along.
- Crane's baby (flat)
- Linda Stewart (flat)
- Dave Harris (flat)
Round: Characters are fully developed and described.
-As Miss Strangeworth mails a few of her letters, one falls outside the post office mail box, and is picked up by Dave Harris, who, decided to personally deliver it to Don Crane, instead of mailing it.
Flat: Characters that aren't very well developed and described
Static: Character doesn't undergo a noticeable change throughout the story.
Dynamic: Character undergoes a noticeable change throughout the story.
Stock: Stereotypical characters
Visual detail and use of diction allows for the readers to understand the surroundings, why they're important when reading a short story and how it effects a readers experience.
The theme for the short story can be elaborated with a number of different words but the one word that brings it all together is deceit. Miss Strangeworth was seen as a kind, sweet elderly lady who minded her own business. But this turned out to be the complete opposite.
A recurring symbol throughout the story is the rose itself which holds deep meaning.
- Miss Strangeworth -- Mr Lewis
- Helen Crane -- Martha Harper
- Physical descriptions
The rose itself represents the beauty and characteristics of the town and those in it, each person is a rose with thorns.
DEUS EX MACHINA
The one plot device in this short story which moves the plot forward is the envelopes which Miss Strangeworth writes that later creates an unexpected conclusion.
"The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or to nature"
An inanimate object that receives human like characteristics are the roses, the main characters treats to her roses as if they were her children.
With dialogue, Miss Adela is stating that through the tending of her flowers, she is proud of what her family has accomplished and what they have succeeded with.
What's ironic is that the letters the main character writes were with the intention of creating peace and to prevent evil but the letters did the opposite of what was intended.
POINT OF VIEW
Occurred when Miss Strangeworth unlocked a drawer with her key in a corner of the her narrow desk
When Mrs. Strangeworth tries to help to town by writing letters to the towns people, anonymously but the letters cause more stress, and lots of problems
The story is told in:
-Third Person, Omniscient
The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story.
Shirley Hardie Jackson was born December 14, 1916 and passed away August 8, 1965. Born in San Francisco, California. She was a popular American author in her time, writing novels and short stories all falling under the genres of mystery and horror. She wrote this stories basing them on the dark, distressed and violent times of humanity. Known for her famous short story, “The Lottery”. In 1965, Shirley died of heart failure in her sleep at her residence in North Bennington at the age of 48. This was due to her being overweight and long time heavy smoking which was the main contributor to her death. In her life time, she has won three awards including the Edgar award for Best Short Story. In 2007, the Shirley Jackson Awards was created in recognition of the legacy she has left behind. The award is now given to writers for outstanding horror and dark fantasy texts.
MOMENT OF EPIPHANY
- When Miss Strangeworth attained an odd looking letter, anonymously from someone in town
- Miss Strangeworth is amused from stirring up the town with insults and conflicts
- She wants her own nice perfect town
But it is revealed that inside are colorful letters