Chance Of Evil Essay

1277 words - 6 pages

Sometimes, one's perspective may appear to be like the dark side of a moon, it exists but is never exposed. Beneath the surface of the story and the town, there is evil lurking that one would not expect. Irony, is the use of language that actually signifies the opposite. In the short story, The Possibility of Evil, by Shirley Jackson the author uses irony throughout, by the way the main character is displayed. The main character, Miss Strangeworth believes she is a guardian of her town, but in fact, she is the source of evil.

In the beginning, Miss Strangeworth is depicted as an extremely social individual. To start off, Miss Strangeworth exhibits her social characteristics when the ...view middle of the document...

The narrator illustrates, “When she came into the grocery, half a dozen people turned away from the shelves and counters to wave at her or call out good morning” (2). The fact that everyone notices Miss Strangeworth's entrance and greet her proves her as a social person. Everyone stops what they are doing and make sure they acknowledge her presence, showcasing her importance in their town as well as her socialization skills. Therefore, it is evident that Miss Strangeworth is a very socializing individual in the beginning of the story.

Miss Strangeworth is then displayed as being a very helpful character during the story. Firstly, Miss Strangeworth exhibits her helpfulness when she is walking back from the grocery store and stops to talk to the librarian, Miss Chandler. She reminds the librarian “about the new novels to be ordered and paid for by the annual library appropriation. Miss Chandler seemed absent-minded (3). Clearly Miss Strangeworth is a very helpful individual since despite knowing everyone in town, she is still able to remember everyone's problems. She notices whenever someone looks disturbed and worried, and immediately goes and talks to them.

Secondly, Miss Strangeworth's helpfulness is again explored when she stops to have a small conversation with Helen Crane, a young parent. Helen explains her worries about the fact that her daugher has not started moving despite her age. Miss Strangeworth replies, “'I suppose you've got young Dan all upset about the fact that his daughter is already six months old and hasn't yet begun to dance?'” (3). Here, the fact that the citizens approach Miss Strangeworth for their problems show that they all acknowledge her helpful character. Also, Miss Strangeworth mentions how she does not want Dan to be upset, showcasing her caring and helpful character.

Lastly, Miss Strangeworth shows her helpful characteristic when she is at the grocery and starts talking to Mrs. Harper. Miss Strangeworth notices Mrs. Harper's hand shake and wonders to herself, “if she had been taking proper care of herself. Martha Harper was not as young as she used to be, Miss Strangeworth thought. She probably could use a good, strong tunic” (2). Here, Miss Strangeworth's concern over such a minor issue proves her helpfulness. She instantly notices whether something is wrong and quickly comes up with a solution. Miss Strangeworth stresses over whether Mrs. Harper takes care of herself, showing that she considers the problems of her fellow citizens' as her own. To summarize, Miss Strangeworth continuously displays her helpfulness, throughout the story.

Paradoxically, however, near the end of the story, Miss Strangeworth is shown as a source of trouble in her town. The first example proving Miss Strangeworth as a...

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