Essay about Hidden Truths in The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson

Essay about Hidden Truths in The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson

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Underneath a good moral, there could be a hidden truth. In, “The Possibility of Evil”, Shirley Jackson shows how the protagonist, Miss Strangeworth presumes she is protecting her neighborhood by eliminating the evil that exists within her community, but ironically, she is the most evil neighbor of all. In the beginning, the community considers Miss Strangeworth an old, caring and respected woman. Throughout the story, a handful of community members realize Miss Strangeworth is a bitter, insensitive woman, who is creating more evil in the neighborhood. In other words, Miss Strangeworth’s intentions to rid her neighborhood of evil, ultimately has the opposite effect and ironically creates more dilemma.
To start with, as the story begins Miss Strangeworth appears to be highly respected by the community and a caring old woman. Firstly, Miss Strangeworth has a positive effect in her neighborhood, as all the community members value her. As Miss Strangeworth walks down the street, she “had to stop every minute or so to say good morning… or to ask after someone’s health” (Jackson, 1). This shows the readers that Miss Strangeworth is an important member of this community who is respected. Also, the readers see that Miss Strangeworth is making an effort to interact and check on the welfare of her town people. Secondly, Miss Strangeworth is caring and comprehends the feelings of her neighbors. Miss Strangeworth thinks to herself “Mr. Lewis looked worried…He looked very tired, too” (2). Miss Strangeworth is worried about the welfare of her neighbors. This shows the readers how Miss Strangeworth is a caring old woman, and how she looks after all the community members. Finally, Miss Strangeworth is respected and many younger members of the co...


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...nity members with her harsh words. Therefore, Miss Strangeworth’s community begins to see how bitter and insensitive she is and her attempt to rid evil creates more trouble for her roses and herself.
In “The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson, she displays how the protagonist, Miss Strangeworth, convinces the town he is a sweet, caring and respectful woman, although her intentions to rid of evil hurt her community members. At the beginning of the story, Miss Strangeworth is highly respected by her neighbors as they seek for guidance from her. Throughout the story, the community members come to realise she is the cause of evil and disruption in the quiet neighborhood. Miss Strangeworth’s intentions to ride her town of evil ultimately backfire, as ironically, she is the true cause of evil in her town.



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"The Possibility of Evil" by Shirley Jackson

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