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 does not changed throughout the story, people just does not know how awful she is. As a lonely woman, Miss Strangeworth has written small notes filled with cruelty toward her towns folks throughout the story. Miss Strangeworth enjoyed writing awful 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: DIDN”T YOU EVER SEE AN IDIOT CHILD BEFORE? SOME PEOPLE JUST SHOULD NOT HAVE CHILDREN SHOULD THEY? She was pleased with the letter. ”Order now
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 herself feel better. Maybe if Miss Strangeworth was a little more outgoing she might find the things she want in life. She selected a green sheet this time and wrote quickly: HAVE YOU FOUND OUT YET WHAT THEY WERE ALL LAUGHING ABOUT AFTER YOU LEFT THE BRIDGE CLUB ON THURSDAY? OR IS THE WIFE REALLY ALWAYS THE LAST ONE TO KNOW? ” 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 does not — Miss Strangeworth yet again wants this person to feel unfortunate.
This uncharacteristic behavior seems capable to hurting people and it may hurt Miss Strangeworth. Writing bitterness 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–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 never stopped, as you can tell she was practically obsessed 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 her letters. ” Her enjoyment toward this insolence is upsetting to me because I think it is just strange and cruel. Miss Strangeworth has gotten used to writing these letters that instead of having a guilty conscience about this spiteful 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 her desires. Last, I must say that even while Miss Strangeworth”s mischief was obnoxious, her personality still remained the same. My judgment is that Miss Strangeworth jealousy and criticism is due to her loneliness. This odd, dire character from, The Possibility of Evil is jealous because she does not have want she wants. If Miss Strangeworth will never stop doing her mischief, Miss Strangeworth”s sign of desire will be continuing to hurt her.