Must contradictory personalities get the best of us? “The Possibility of Evil”, a short story by Shirley Jackson focused on the odd behavior of Miss Strangeworth. Though Miss Strangeworth do not change throughout the story, people just don’t know how awful she is. Miss Strangeworth has written small anonyms notes filled with cruel comments about toward her towns folks throughout the story. Miss Strangeworth enjoyed writing harsh letters to her neighbors, showing her jealous personality towards her neighbors.
After thinking for a minute, although she had been phrasing the letter in the back of her mind all the way home, she wrote on a pink sheet with harsh words.
She was pleased with the letter. I suppose Miss Strangeworth wrote this letter because deep down, she does not have a family and by letting this person feel terrible, it supposedly makes her feel better. Maybe if Miss Strangeworth was a little more outgoing, she might find the things she wants in life.
She selected a green sheet this time and wrote quickly with harsher words.
Again, Miss Strangeworth wrote another nasty letter to one of her neighbors. I think that she wrote another letter since she is lonely and while this neighbor has a husband, she doesn’t; Miss Strangeworth yet again wants this person to feel unfortunate. This uncharacteristic behavior seems capable of deeply hurting people and it will certainly boomerang to her one day. Writing harsh letters to her neighbors were just one part to her entertainment, she also has an amusement of thinking of the people who are reading her letters.
She had been writing her letters and sometimes two to three every day for a week, sometimes no more than one in a month for the past year. Miss Strangeworth’s behavior of writing these letters was nonstop. As you can tell, she was practically obsessed by writing these negative letters. I think Miss Strangeworth has so many things that she desires, and the fact that she cannot acquire these desires makes her gloomy and discourteous.
Miss Strangeworth awakened the next morning with a feeling of intense happiness and, for a minute wondered why, and then remembered that this morning three people would open their letters. Her enjoyment of this are harsh letters is upsetting to me because I think its just ridiculous and cruel. Miss Strangeworth has gotten used to writing these letters, but instead of having a guilty conscience about this ridiculous activity, this hobby is giving her pleasure.
As an elderly, lonely woman, Miss Strangeworth’s letters are a sign of revenge since the towns people are making her envious because of her lack of fulfillment of her desires. Overall, I must say that even while Miss Strangeworth’s mischief was ridiculous, her personality still remained the same. My opinion is that Miss Strangeworth’s jealousy and criticism is due to her loneliness. This odd dire character from, The Possibility if Evil is jealous because she does not have what she want. If Miss Strangeworth will never stop doing her mischief, Miss Strangeworth’s frustration will be continuing to hurt her.
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