How does Shirley Jackson set the tone in her narrative "Charles"?

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Jackson wrote the story "Charles " in a light and humorous, yet somewhat reflective, tone. The very first paragraph includes phrases describing the mother of the story reflecting on the way that she watched her little boy, no longer a toddler, walk off to school without so much as...

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Jackson wrote the story "Charles" in a light and humorous, yet somewhat reflective, tone. The very first paragraph includes phrases describing the mother of the story reflecting on the way that she watched her little boy, no longer a toddler, walk off to school without so much as a glance back to her. The tone is light, even in this slightly sad, reflective sentence. The author does not allow the main character to reflect about this incident in a sad way but only as a reflection of life passing by. The author allows the main character Laurie to bring out the humor in the story with short, funny phrasing in the voice of Laurie, jokes and childishly rude behaviors that the family does not take too seriously. This allows Laurie's actions to remain humorous and set the main story tone as a humorous one.

The story would not have been as effective as a humorous, reflective story if written in the third person because written as it is, the reader lives the story through the point of view of Laurie's mom. It is by having her voice be the narration of the story in first person, that we can experience the humorous side to Laurie's actions. His actions are funny because we see them as a parent would. Had the story been written in third person through the eyes of an anonymous narrator, then the story would lose some of the humor and would not draw the reader into the experience as much.

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