The Possibility of Evil Questions and Answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth takes great pride in her roses. Tourists sometimes admire the roses in her yard that were planted by her grandmother one hundred years ago. She won't let the tourists have them,...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2021 10:49 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth mainly reveals she is evil through the anonymous, poison pen letters she sends to her small town neighbors. They are filled with cruel statements and false insinuations. For...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2021 11:07 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth sees the town as her town. Her grandfather built the first house on Pleasant Street, as she proudly tells tourists, and this gives her a sense of proprietorship over those who...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2021 11:05 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth is primarily characterized indirectly in this short story. This means that Jackson mostly shows us what she is like through her actions and thoughts rather than using an...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2020 12:39 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

One of the central themes of "The Possibility of Evil" is that appearances can be deceptive. Jackson shows this most clearly through the character of Miss Adela Strangeworth, who, on the surface,...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016 11:23 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth spends her energies in tearing down others. She believes herself to be of the highest character, almost a type of nobility for their small town. Thus, she also believes that she...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2020 4:55 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

When Miss Strangeworth goes to the post office to mail the three anonymous letters she had written earlier that day, she overhears part of a conversation between Linda Stewart and Dave Harris....

Latest answer posted January 11, 2016 7:12 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Details of the setting put this story, published in 1965, in the world of the 1940s or 1950s. (Even if Jackson meant the story to take place in the 1960s, she is indicating that the town has a...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2019 5:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Like any short story, "The Possibility of Evil" shares the usual literary devices and elements. The tale follows a common plot arc of exposition to resolution as we learn what type of person Miss...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2019 3:14 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

The omniscient point of view is important to the overall effectiveness of "The Possibility of Evil" as a story, as it gives us a detached view of life in this small town. Among other things, this...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2018 6:26 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth and Mrs. Harper know each other fairly well. They belong to the same bridge club and call each other by their first names, as they do when they happen to meet in the grocery store...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2016 2:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

It would appear that Miss Strangeworth does not understand her own motive or motives for writing her anonymous letters. She rationalizes that it is her civic duty to keep the citizens of her town...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2016 2:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

It can be argued that, in Shirley Jackson's short story "The Possibility of Evil," Miss Strageworth's roses symbolize the emotions Miss Strangeworth associates with a perfect, pleasant life.By the...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2015 9:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

The writer doesn't directly say who sent the letter, but when Miss Strangeworth accidentally drops it on the floor outside the post office, it is Dave Harris who picks it up. Seeing the letter is...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2019 9:01 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

The denouement of "The Possibility of Evil" is what we would call a climactic ending. The ending is climactic because it is unmistakably life-changing in nature. Miss Strangeworth's habits are no...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2018 3:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Jackson’s story is almost a kind of parable, in its directness and brevity. Alert readers will begin to suspect something is up in this little town by the tone of Jackson’s writing—there is an...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2017 3:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

The setting of Shirley Jackson's story is one that suggests Gothic elements, as there is a town that seems lost in time as it is watched over by Miss Adela Strangeworth, a strange woman, indeed,...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2014 8:13 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

In "The Possibility of Evil," Shirley Jackson responds to her view that society is too quick to judge people based upon outward appearances. The people in Miss Strangeworth's town believe that Miss...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2010 1:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

When Miss Strangeworth is writing her anonymous letters she prepares three of them on different-colored sheets of paper and in matching envelopes. She addressed an envelope to Don Crane using a...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

In "The Possibility of Evil," Miss Strangeworth's name is significant for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the word "strange" suggests that there is something different and unusual about Miss...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2017 8:20 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth is aware that Linda Stewart and Dave Harris are having some problems involving their relationship. Many people seemed disturbed recently, Miss Strangeworth thought. Only...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2015 5:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth did not actually see any evil. She didn't even guess that anybody in the town was doing anything evil. She sensed that there was evil behavior going on in the town, and she saw...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2016 11:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

As an eccentric woman with an overstated sense of personal responsibility toward her townspeople, Mrs. Strangeworth believes that she has the ability to control the town that views her as a sort of...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2015 1:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

According to eNotes "guide to Literary Terms," plot is "this is the arrangement of events to achieve an intended effect consisting of a series of carefully devised and interrelated actions that...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2013 4:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

People in town generally think of Miss Strangeworth as a respected citizen. This is due to the reputation of Miss Strangeworth's family. At the beginning of the story, we learn that her grandfather...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2016 8:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

The title of the story refers primarily to Miss Strangeworth's obsession with the morality of the people in her town. She believes it is her responsibility to watch for evil behavior in everybody...

Latest answer posted March 10, 2016 5:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

The title of the story "The Possibility of Evil" is a double entendre. Miss Strangeworth is obsessed with the possibility of evil in the citizens of "her town." Yet she doesn't realize that she has...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2015 12:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Foreshadowing is a literary technique used by authors to give readers an indication of a future event in the story. Writers use a variety of methods or clues to keep the reader intrigued. It could...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2017 2:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

At the beginning of this story, Jackson creates a calm, serene, and idyllic atmosphere. The sun is "shining," for example, the air is "fresh," and the buildings in the town appear "washed" and...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2017 6:07 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth is spreading suspicion all over town with her anonymous poison-pen letters, but she thinks she is only being helpful and does not realize how much harm she is doing. When she goes...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2015 6:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth is a complex character. She believes it is her civic duty as the town's oldest resident and descendant of the town's founders to act as a sort of guardian of public morality. The...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2016 11:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Possibility of Evil” presents as its main character the 71-year-old figure of Miss Adela Strangeworth, whose name, when combined with Jackson’s body of work and...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2014 3:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

The problem in "The Possibility of Evil" is that Miss Strangeworth doesn't recognize that she, herself, is the wicked evil in town. She sees herself as the helpful person who keeps her town on the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2018 5:08 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth has been writing her anonymous letters for one year and creating many kinds of bad feelings in the town. On the day covered by the story she writes three more poison-pen letters...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2016 7:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth apparently does not understand how much trouble she is causing with her anonymous letters, nor does she seem to be aware of the real reason she is writing them. She tells herself...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2016 7:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

The main lesson about human nature we should derive from "The Possibility of Evil" is that we should not judge people by the personas they present. Miss Strangeworth seems to be a sweet, kindly...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2016 1:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth's role as the story's antagonist is illustrated at several points in the story. It is first demonstrated, for example, when Miss Strangeworth talks with Miss Chandler, the...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2016 8:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Shirley Jackson's "The Possibility of Evil" is a wonderful little short story that, like other works by Jackson, focuses on what happens when the idiosyncrasies of small town life go terribly...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2019 10:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

In Shirley Jackson's "The Possibility of Evil," the main character, Miss Adela Strangeworth, believes her family has contributed a great amount to the town in which she lives. Her familiar pride...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2018 9:34 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

As the title of Shirley Jackson's story suggests, Miss Strangeworth is not actually lying, but only asking questions about the possibility of certain things happening. For example, she has written...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2015 4:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Shirley Jackson's 'protagonist' in her short story The Possibility of Evil almost certainly does not realize that she has done anything wrong. On the contrary, Adela Strangeworth is, by all...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2015 3:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

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...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2016 9:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

In "The Possibility of Evil," Shirley Jackson touches upon a number of social and political issues. One of these is bullying and its impact on the victim. By sending her poison pen letters, Miss...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2016 11:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

At the beginning of the story Miss Strangeworth is characterized as a sweet, kindly little old lady who lives a very simple life in a small town and who takes an interest in the welfare and...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2016 4:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth is obviously somewhat insane. This makes it hard to understand her motivation. She probably does not understand it herself. There are several plausible reasons why she writes her...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2016 4:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

The author inserts this information during the scene at Miss Strangeworth's home when she is writing three of her anonymous letters. This is to inform the reader that these and similar letters have...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2015 4:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

An emotion like “happy” could be described with over-the-top feeling, as “exuberant” or with a more subdued connotation, as “content.” Likewise, the mood of a story can be identified through the...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2013 11:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth is very old-fashioned and particular about how people should address one another. She sees herself as the keeper of the flame concerning social etiquette in the town, a living...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2019 12:44 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Possibility of Evil

Miss Strangeworth feels that the town belongs to her and therefore that all the people are like tenants or vassals. She feels superior to all of them, and she gets special treatment from most of...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2015 7:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Possibility of Evil

In Shirley Jackson’s “Possibility of Evil,” Miss Strangeworth feels justified in sending the letters to the townspeople because she believes that it is her work to keep the town “clean and sweet.”...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2018 11:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

Showing 1-50 of 133