What is a summary for the Shirley Jackson short story "Charles"? What are four rising actions in the story?

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Shirley Jackson's short story, "Charles," tells the story of a mother watching her little boy transforming from an angel to a holy terror right before her eyes. Laurie is the young son of the narrator who is suddenly becoming unmanagable, due in part, the mother believes, to a new friend at school--Charles. In the end, the teacher tells the mother

"Charles? We don't have any Charles in the kindergarten."

There is no Charles: It is a wakeup call for the mother, who realizes that all the bad stories about the non-existent Charles were actually committed by her own Laurie.

Rising action occurs when:

  • Laurie comes home from the first day of school, slams the door and screams at his parents.
  • Laurie gleefully tells his parents on the second day of school that Charles has hit the teacher.
  • Laurie is rude and disrespectful to his father, calls him "dumb," and then laughs "insanely."
  • Laurie reports that Charles has finally been good at school and has been rewarded with an apple.


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