How does Miss Strangeworth feel about the town?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Strangeworth feels that she is the guardian of her town. Her self-righteous attitude towards her fellow townsfolk can be seen in the way she characterizes them. To Miss Strangeworth, everyone in her town is either in need of her good advice or her knowledge about some private information that concerns their well-being. In other words, Miss Strangeworth perceives her neighbors as helpless children who need her guidance and wisdom.

Miss Strangeworth is not above characterizing someone like Miss Chandler, the librarian, as a sloppy person, just because she fails to take adequate trouble with her hair one morning. As a self-styled arbiter of wisdom, Miss Strangeworth has no problems making superficial judgements about others. She writes anonymous letters to various people to warn them about unspecified moral dangers and to steer them away from what she considers unsavory choices. Sometimes, she divulges secrets about specific individuals, based solely on her suspicions.

For example, Miss Strangeworth feels happy to have warned Mr. Lewis about the possibility of "his grandson... lifting petty cash from the store register." Yet, there is no indication that she has any proof about this. In another letter, she warns an unsuspecting wife that her husband might be having an affair. In yet another letter, Miss Strangeworth weighs the limitations and perhaps even the morality of having an "idiot child." She is relentless in her mission to correct what she sees as perceived imperfections in her neighborhood; Miss Strangeworth is one of those individuals who insists that "as long as evil existed unchecked in the world," it is her duty to warn others about it.