In Shirley Jackson's short story "Charles," describe the change in Laurie's clothing on the day he starts school.

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In the short story "Charles," by Shirley Jackson, Laurie's mother notices several changes in Laurie when he begins school. We readers are not given any details about what Laurie wore before school started, but we are told what he is wearing on that first day in the very first sentence of the story. Laurie is wearing jeans and a belt.

"The day my son Laurie started kindergarten, he gave up his little-boy clothes. He started wearing blue jeans with a belt." (Jackson 1)

Laurie's mother (narrator) also makes the observation that "He looked as though he were going off to a fight."  (Jackson 1) There is some foreshadowing there because Laurie is definitely going off to a fight as his alter ego, Charles!  Those first sentences foreshadowed what was to come in the story. Laurie is obviously a mischievous little boy, and though he may have looked grown up in his jeans and belt, he really had not changed at all.

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