In "Charles" by Shirley Jackson, what change does the narrator notice in her son on his first day of school?

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

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In "Charles" by Shirley Jackson, the narrator, Laurie's mother, notices some changes in her son on the first day of school. He seems much more grown up than the little boy he was just the day before. No longer does he wear his "little boy clothes," but he's dressed, ready to go to school like all of the other children.

"He started wearing blue jeans with a belt. I watched him go off that first morning with the older girl next door. He looked as though he were going off to a fight." (Jackson 1)

Maybe that last thought should have been a clue to Laurie's mom that school was going to be a challenge for her little boy. Day after day, Laurie came home with stories about a mischievous boy named Charles, who was always getting into some kind of trouble. Of course, we eventually find out that Laurie IS Charles, and that when he left that first day for kindergarten, he really was "going off to a fight"!

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