According to the narrator, how did Laurie change when he started kindergarten in the story "Charles" by Shirley Jackson?

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Shirley Jackson's narrator in "Charles" is apparently a deluded mother. Her thinking that her child has transformed on the day he goes off to school, before ever entering the kindergarten classroom, is unfounded at best.

According to the mother, who narrates, on the first day of school, her "sweet-voiced" tot suddenly transform into a "long-trousered, swaggering character" who walks with an older girl and forgets to turn and wave goodbye to his mother. Then, in the afternoon, he returns and announces his arrival by flinging open the front door. Curiously, the mother never scolds her son when he exhibits inappropriate behavior. The father makes a feeble attempt at disciplining Laurie but does not follow through with sufficient parental effort when the boy ignores him. For instance, after Laurie tells his parents that a boy named Charles was rude at school, and the teacher spanked him and ordered him to stand in a corner, he takes a cookie and walks off despite the fact that his father is telling him to stay put.

Ironically, the mother narrates that "Charles was an institution in our family." She adds, "Laurie did a Charles when he filled his wagon full of mud and pulled it through the kitchen." The husband is equally obtuse as he comments about something Laurie has done, describing it with the words "[L]ooks like Charles."

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When Shirley Jackson's "Charles" begins, the narrator's son Laurie is "my sweet-voiced nursery-school tot" (Jackson 1).  Even as he turns the corner on his way to school, he begins his transformation to a "swaggering character" (1).  From a sweet and compliant child, he morphs into a noisy and rude character who slams the door, speaks to his father "insolently" (1) and loses his ability to speak proper English, now saying "I didn't learn nothing" (1).

Laurie begins to come home with stories of Charles, a classmate he says gets in trouble all the time. He has hit the teacher, yells during story time, injures a little girl on the playground, and makes so much noise that he disrupts other classes. After some time passes, Laurie reports Charles has settled down and is rewarded for better behavior. He has a few lapses, and then seems to settle in well. 

After weeks of Laurie reporting on Charles's bad behavior to his parents, his mother, who has missed the parent-teacher conference, attends the PTA meeting, hoping to hear about Charles. This is when she learns from Laurie's teacher that there is no Charles in Laurie's class. She also learns Laurie had a difficult time adjusting to school, but seems to be doing better now. 

Laurie's transformation in school is from sweet toddler to his new alter ego, Charles. Charles is the vehicle by which Laurie reports to his parents his own bad behavior, or at the very least, behavior he wished to engage in while in school. Once he acclimates to school, Laurie reports Charles is behaving better, too. School is truly a transformational process, but it is often a bumpy road!

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