The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson

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What are some devices used in "The Possibility of Evil"?

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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 Strangeworth really is. But what really sets this story apart is the plot twist at the end which is kept hidden by the narration.

Told from a third-person omniscient point of view, the reader learns about the town and the main character, Miss Adela Strangeworth, through this unlimited perspective, but just because the narrator knows everything about her doesn't mean they relay everything they know. It's almost as if the narrator intentionally frames the narrative in favor of Adela which deceives the reader.

Another notable device is the positive diction used which creates vivid imagery for the reader. While the story title connects to the concept of evil, the setting seems pleasant, along with the characters.

For example, look at the opening passage:

Miss Adela Strangeworth stepped daintily along Main...

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