Encounters with Cruelty in The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson and The Snake by Ervin D Krause

Decent Essays

Everyday an individual encounters an act of cruelty, whether it is physically, emotionally, or verbally. On the other hand, there are those who inflict harm intentionally or unintentionally on others as a result of being dissatisfied emotionally or psychologically. Such individuals become labeled either to be good or bad by society. However, a person as a whole cannot be good or bad; it is their actions that are vile. Similarly, in “The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson, Miss Strangeworth reveals her cruelty through writing letters while, in “The Snake” by Ervin D Krause, the uncle shows his cruelty through his behaviour towards the boy. Thus, all individuals expose their cruelty through their immoral actions. To begin with, Miss Strangeworth expresses her evil when disclosing written letters to various people anonymously. Miss Strangeworth comes upon a woman named Helen Crane who is upset about her baby being slow in the stages of development. In response to the lady being upset, Miss Strangeworth claims, “Nonsense. All babies are different. Some of them develop much more quickly than others” (Jackson 3). Meanwhile, Miss Strangeworth composes a letter addressed to Helen Crane stating, “Didn’t you ever see an idiot child before? Some people just shouldn’t have children, should they?” (Jackson 4). This is significant as it reveals her harshness in the letter. She is being hypocritical and discourteous leading to an act of cruelty by being offensive to Helen speaking

Get Access