Character Analysis of Short Story “Charles” by Shirley Jackson
A Smart Kid, Laurie
“Charles” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. This short story was firstly published in 1948 in Mademoiselle. Shirley created a great fiction character of Charles through Laurie which is the protagonist of this short story. This story tells about a young boy, Laurie who firstly started his kindergarten. His mother, as the narrator herself, tells that her son that she loves the most has totally changed from a baby to a more mature boy. She tells how her son following his school every day, and how his son’s behavior changes because of Laurie’s friend’s bad influence named Charles, who is always told to his mother almost every day after he come back home. Her love to her son makes her blind and too naive to realize that actually Charles is Laurie himself. Although, Laurie is a naughty boy but he is a smart and imaginative kid. The short story shows that Laurie’s mother always spoils her son, however her son does not want that. In the first of reading, the readers would get confuse about Laurie’s name, because his name seems more feminine and does not suit him as a boy. This can be proven that his mother treats him to be spoiled boy, just like baby. Another proof that his mother treats him like a baby is “Monday night was the first Parent-Teachers meeting, and only the fact that the baby had a cold kept me from going” . His mother directly says that her son is still baby. However, his son, Laurie does not like this. He tries to be more manly and independent. The proof is, “The day my son Laurie started kindergarten he renounced corduroy overalls with bibs and began wearing blue jeans with a belt…” Laurie does not want to wear corduroy and bibs anymore, he prefers to dress up like a man, with jeans and belt. This shows that Laurie against his mother to dress him up like a baby. Another proof is “…my sweet-voiced nursery-school tot...