The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson

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How does the mood in "The Possibility of Evil" change from the beginning to end?

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Shirley Jackson's "The Possibility of Evil" is similar to her story "The Lottery." In both the mood begins on a tranquil, commonplace, everyday note and gradually becomes more ominous until it is downright sinister at the end. Miss Strangeworth seems like a nice little old lady going about her simple daily routine in a peaceful town where she has lived all her life. She notices some signs of uneasiness and even distress in people she encounters. For example, Mr. Lewis the grocer seems troubled.

Mr. Lewis looked worried, she thought, and for a minute she hesitated, but then she decided that he surely could not be worried over the strawberries. He looked very tired indeed. He was usually so chipper.

Teenage Linda Stewart seems especially troubled. The reader is beginning to wonder what is going on in this little town. It is almost as if clouds are gathering and spreading their shadows all around. Shirley Jackson excels in evoking such darkening mood changes.

Many people seemed disturbed...

(The entire section contains 539 words.)

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