March 5 2009
The Possibility of Evil: Critical Response Journal
The Story, The Possibility of Evil is a truly interesting story that demonstrates the evil of a community that seems almost perfect. This story demonstrates how there is probably no place on Earth that evil has not reached. The story bases itself on a small suburban town and the people that live there. The reader meets Miss Strangeworth who is a sweet little lady that smiles to everyone during the day and starts conversations, but by the time she gets home she starts writing letters revealing secrets and unpleasant facts of her neighbours and fellow townspeople and then has the audacity to send the letters around without signing them. This story puts the flaws of humans in the perspective of the old lady Mrs. Strangeworth and interests the reader with the coldness and deception in a seemingly normal small town. It is a very promising short story with an ending that satisfies the reader, but then make the reader reflect about the coldness of society in general.
The story’s setting takes place in a peaceful little town, on Pleasant Street where seemingly nice old lady Miss Adela Stangeworth lives and on Main Street which is literally the main street of the city where services such as the family owned grocery store, the soda shop and the post office are found. The time of year is summer and the weather seems to be very nice as written in the story, “Miss Strangeworth took deep breaths and thought that there was nothing in the world like a fragrant summer day” (Jackson, 249). The author makes the setting of the story so nice and cosy, but the reader can feel that something evil was going to happen or was already as foreshadowed by the title of the story. This causes one to wonder, what exactly is evil?
It is also nice how the author made the setting relate to the theme. A major...