In The Possibility of Evil, does Miss Strangeworth seem like a reasonable person? Explain your answer.

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In Shirley Jackson ’s story, the differences between appearance and reality form one important theme. Miss Strangeworth believes herself to be entirely reasonable. To the people of her hometown, where she was born and has lived her entire life, she generally seems like a reasonable person. In her daily interactions with the other residents, she epitomizes the qualities on which she prides herself. Although they understand that she is arrogant and rather out-of-touch with modern times, because it is a small town, the others tolerate her eccentricities. It seems to occur to no one that she is the source of the anonymous, ill-intentioned letters, because such behavior does not match their conception of her personality. However, Jackson makes it clear that appearances are often deceptive, and those who are both innocent and not suspicious of others’s bad behavior are often most likely to be targeted or victimized by it. When Miss Strangeworth’s own carelessness betrays her and she is...

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