The summary of “The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson.

1.      Title: “The Possibility of Evil”

2.      Author: Shirley Jackson

3.      Setting: Pleasant Street, Main Street and during a summer day

4.      Character: Protagonist is Adela Strangeworth

            Antagonist is Adela Strangeworth

            Supporting Characters are Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Harper, Don Crane, Helen Crane, Linda, Dave, and all of the other minor characters in town


5.      Plot:

      Introduction – Miss Strangeworth is a well respected person in town, and she lives on Pleasant Street. Her grandfather built the first house in town, and she has been living in it for her whole life. She has never leave the town and she nourished her roses just her mother and grandmother did.

      Initiating Incidents – When Miss Strangeworth is shopping at Mr. Lewis’ grocery store, she saw Mrs. Harper coming in with a pale face and she warned her to take care of herself. When Miss Strangeworth was heading home, she saw Don and Helen Crane with their new born baby. The couple seems to be stressing about how slow their baby is making progress to learn.

      Rising Actions – When Miss Strangeworth went back to her house, she started to write warning letters to Mrs. Harper, Mrs. Foster and the Crane couples about “gossips” and their new born baby. The letters are completely based on assumptions and are written anonymously. And then she exposed that she had been writing this kind of letters to different people for a long time for the purpose of keeping the town peaceful. Miss Strangeworth goes to the post office to mail her letters at dusk when there are not too many people around and the office is closed for the day. There were only the young people around the post office, and one of the couple is Linda and Dave, but they were arguing again.

      Climax – Miss Strangeworth sighed about the evilness that is lurking around in this peaceful little town, while she put her mails into the slot, one of her mails dropped out of the slot. The Harris boy picked up the letter and called out to Miss Strangeworth, but she did not hear it.

Liked it
  • CRYSTAL EVANS on Dec 21, 2009

    :) ) interesting.. great read.

  • john on Sep 25, 2010

    this website is the best

  • areli on Sep 29, 2010

    what is the falling action?

  • Sharan on Apr 24, 2011

    best answers ..
    but what are the falling actions and resolution/ denouement.

  • noman on Oct 6, 2011

    what are some characteristic traits of miss strangeworth

  • john on Nov 10, 2012

    nice story

  • carmelia on Nov 12, 2012

    what’s the purpose

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