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 POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17

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PostSubject: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:54 am

Share a reaction to this strange and interesting story by the great Shirley Jackson (author of "The Lottery")


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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:05 pm

I think that this story had a more shocking ending than The Necklace. I felt sorry for Strangeworth because her roses were her most prized possession, but she deserved some of the payback. She constantly snitched on all the evil doings of people in her town, and somebody finally did something that would get her into trouble. As they say, "What goes around, comes around."
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PostSubject: roses   Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:23 pm

I really understood the symbolism of the roses in this story, which I enjoyed. Like the idea that in everything perfect there's something bad, such as thorns on a rose, the roses of the town symbolized the charming, happy town. However, Mrs. Strangeworth began to ruin the happiness by sending nasty notes that were unneccesary. When she got her payback, the roses were gone and so was the town cheer.
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jacqueleeny

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:21 pm

misscassidym3 wrote:
I really understood the symbolism of the roses in this story, which I enjoyed. Like the idea that in everything perfect there's something bad, such as thorns on a rose, the roses of the town symbolized the charming, happy town. However, Mrs. Strangeworth began to ruin the happiness by sending nasty notes that were unneccesary. When she got her payback, the roses were gone and so was the town cheer.

I totally agree with this analysis of the roses. I don't think it could be said any better. Miss Strangeworth really got what she deserved, and the "evil" that she suspected in the town was basically her the whole time.
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SamC3

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PostSubject: The Possibility of Evil   Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:10 pm

I thought the story was very symbolic, especially the rose bushes. A rose is a beautiful flower with a very pretty bud, but underneath are small thorns that are unexpected and hurtful, a lot like Miss Strangeworth. I also believe that everyone has a bit of Miss Strangeworth in us. We are all critical of ourselves and the people around us. Although we may not say it out loud, or in the story's case, in an anonymous letter, we are thinking it.

-Sam
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katie3

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PostSubject: the possibility of evil   Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:43 pm

I agree with kyle in that i think this story had a more shocking affraid ending then the necklace. I feel bad for ms. strangeworth even though i think she had this coming. I feel like ms strangeworth is just an old lady with her strange quirks and a warning letter would have been more appropriate than cutting off all her roses. I really liked this story even though I had to keep rereading it to remember who all the characters were Very Happy
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Dylan M Per. 3

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:22 pm

I thought the story was in some parts hard to understand. I found it very shocking that her roses were destroyed. She loved those roses and she was pretty much known in the town as the old woman with the beautiful roses. The story leaves you hanging on what might have happened after the roses were cut down.
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Dno222

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:37 pm

The ending was a bit shocking, but she deserved it. There was no evil amoung the people, they were actually better off not knowing the painful truth. She's like a nosy snitch, she overhears something bad that may or already of happend and then sends letters telling off people that are involved. She thinks she is pure goodness, when really she is the evil. Her ego is very large, thinking that she is best because she is the only strangeworth left. She got what she deserved. What goes around comes around. afro
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NickNack3

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:03 pm

She had it coming, shes an old lady who had a nice house, and that somehow made her feel superior to everyone else. Especially what she wrote about the baby, she deserved that.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:24 pm

This ending was also very shocking to me. I felt bad for Mrs. Strangeworth just because her roses were a big part of who she was and her family history. She did say make some rude comments about people that lived in "her" town, but i don't think destroying her roses was a necessary action.
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ananya_j



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:10 pm

i found the story a little hard to understand in some parts, but i thought it was very symbolic. the author used miss strangeworth's roses to represent the symbol of evil. I agree with the other people that the ending of this story was more shocking than the ending of the necklace. i think she deserved having her rose gardens messed up because she did indeed say many evil things about the people in her town through her letters and writing.
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CheyenneP6

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:23 pm

Ms. Strangeworth is CREEPY. But I liked how you never in your life would've thought that she would do things like that. But boy, she is CREEPY!! Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:29 am

Shirely Jackson's choice of a small town setting is important to understanding the plot and symbolism in her story. Shirley Jackson uses a deliberately vague setting; although the reader is not given a specific time and place or the name of the town, the reader is given enough infromation to know that it could be any small town. Jackson wants the reader to understand that the potential for evil exists anywhere and everywhere, even in the smallest, most unlikely and safe-seeming places and people. Mrs. Starngeworth's roses symbolize this idea. A rose is a beautiful flower but underneath are thorns that are unexpected and can cause pain when touched with pressure. The roses of the town symbolized the town, showing that any town, however pleasant it may seem, has the capacity to and will contain undesirable or “evil” aspects, or more specifically people.


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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:42 pm

Miss. Strangeworth is a very eccentric old lady! Towards the end of the story I could guess the ending but when I found out I was right, it was really sad. If Miss. Strangeworth just kept her thoughts to herself everyone in the town would be happier. They wouldn't worry over strange letters in the mail and would discover problems on their own.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:49 pm

I think Ms. Strangeworth deserves her punishment. She was very snotty and didn't mind her own business. I just want to go up to her and say, "HAHA! That's what you get!!" Not to sound mean, it's just that she really needed to mind her own business, you know?
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Kaaaaren6

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:05 pm

Whoa, the ending of the story just blew me away! It was bound to happen to her eventually because karma catches up to people. She had no business in other people's lives, so her life was meddled with in the end. I really want to know what happened after she found out her roses were cut! In my opinion, she has nothing better to do than to get into people's business. She should get a few cats and spend all day with them tending to their every need or something. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:20 pm

Mrs. Strangeworth had what was coming for her, sure cutting the roses was harsh but she had been doing this for a year. This was a much more shocking ending.

But what if her roses really weren't destroyed but she never got the chance to see because she died of a heart attack... Suspect
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Dno222

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:23 pm

LanHuang wrote:
Mrs. Strangeworth had what was coming for her, sure cutting the roses was harsh but she had been doing this for a year. This was a much more shocking ending.

But what if her roses really weren't destroyed but she never got the chance to see because she died of a heart attack... Suspect
That is a possiblity of what happened next, but I don't think that would. It said that she started crying after she saw the roses, she wasn't really in a state of shock. alien


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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:33 pm

Dno222 wrote:
LanHuang wrote:
Mrs. Strangeworth had what was coming for her, sure cutting the roses was harsh but she had been doing this for a year. This was a much more shocking ending.

But what if her roses really weren't destroyed but she never got the chance to see because she died of a heart attack... Suspect
That is a possiblity of what happened next, but I don't think that would. It shaid that she started crying after she saw the roses, she wasn't really in a state of shock. alien

textbook wrote:
Her hand did not shake as she opened the envelope and unfolded the sheet of green paper inside. She began to cry silently for the wickedness of the world when she read the words: LOOK OUT AT WHAT USED TO BE YOUR ROSES

seems to me like there still is possibility that she died of a heart attack before she saw her roses....

go read it again, thats exactly what it said

I'd love to say pwnt here but I guess we have to be polite
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Dno222

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:36 pm

Ok, it is a possiblity, but we don't know for sure that she died from a heart attack. scratch Also why would she cry if she didn't see the roses trashed? I mean wouldn't she cry after seeing her roses wrecked. Its common sense, because wouldn't she check the roses before crying and having a heart attack? study
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PostSubject: "The Possibility of Evil"   Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:43 pm

After reading this short story, I felt like Mrs. Strangeworth deserved to be "hurt". She acts like Strangeworth is her town, but everyone other than herself knows thats not true. Near the end of the story, when I was reading the part about how Mrs. Strangeworth felt like it was her "duty" to inform people about the "evil" thats happening in "her" town, I kept wondering about some questions.. First of all, if she wanted to keep the evil out of her town, why did she make a big deal out of it? And why was she acting like everyone else's problems were her own? I don't think it was fair that Mrs. Strangeworth was so critical, when in fact she was the one making the big deal about the issues in the first place. I liked the story and I'm glad Mrs. Strangworth got what she deserved. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:48 pm

I think Ms. Strangeworth might have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. She obsesses over the possibility of evil. Then to drive away the fear, she sends weird letters.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:39 pm

I liked how Shirley Jackson did such a great job of developing the character of Ms. Strangeworth in the beginning of the story. She made it clear how attached Ms. Strangeworth was to her town and her beautiful garden of roses. Shirley Jackson worked the roses in perfectly to the short story. She made sure that the readers would know how important the rose garden was, without giving away the ending. Even though I could tell that the roses were a significant part of the story, I was completely surprised by the ending. It was much more unexpected the ending of "The Necklace". The roses were also the most prominent symbol in the story. They symbolized how things that appear beautiful can turn out to be very ugly. This was the case for Ms. Strangeworth. She appeared to be a nice, old lady who loved her town and the people in it. We discovered that she had an ugly personality when we read about her hate letters. The letters were not preventing evil, but somewhat provoking it.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:53 pm

I think that it's kind of funny how Ms. Strageworth thought that the other people are doing ''evil'' things, but really it's her that created all the problems.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Short Story: "The Possibility of Evil" (17   Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:07 pm

I really liked this story actually. Although I kind of feel bad for Miss Strangeworth because all her roses disappeared, but I also think she had it coming. I can't really say that what she did was right, because the things she wrote in those letters were pretty harsh. I guess since she has been a member of the town for so long and that her grandfather was kind of like the founder of the town, she probably felt like these people weren't good enough for the town. Oh yeah! Did you guys think that Don Crane and the two teenagers picked all of Miss Strangeworth's roses? Or did you guys think that Don Crane told everyone in town about the letters, and the whole town picked all of her roses? Just wondering.
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