General notes about the essay:
· Introduction – needs to set up the ideas that you are going to discuss in the essay – should plant the “big picture” seeds that you may address in your conclusion.
· Your introduction and conclusion should be aligned with one another – may be best to write introduction last to ensure you aren’t on two different proverbial pages in your introduction and your conclusion.
· One idea – could use biographical information about Shirley Jackson and real world, historical context to lead into your thesis statement
· THIS IS NOT A FLOW CHART ESSAY! There will be no numbers anywhere!
· Rubric – graded on:
1. Ideas and Content
3. Sentence Fluency
4. Conventions – 25% of your grade is conventions! Make sure you edit, edit, edit!!
· Must have a title! Try to tie in title with introduction & conclusion too!
Character & POV: should bundle the two together
· Strangeworth has the roses, then she doesn’t have the roses
· Townsfolk’s perspective of Strangeworth – thought she was great, then thought she was terrible
· OUR perspective of Strangeworth – we thought the same thing!
· ARGUABLE POINT: The townspeople became evil – (you may not think this is true. Perhaps you believe that people are inherently evil, and the letter just brought the evil out in them. This point would be based in your personal philosophy of human nature – are we inherently good but do bad things, or are we inherently bad and it is waiting to show itself? Heady things to think about!)
· Our view of ourselves! We liked that Strangeworth got what was coming to her!
Our shift in POV of Strangeworth happened when we found out she was writing the letters and enjoys it even though she knew what she was doing was wrong
· Knows she was wrong – burned the evidence, locked her drawers, wrote on generic paper and in childish, block print, and didn’t put her name on it
· Even though she knew it was wrong, she LIKED it! “Besides, Ms. Strangeworth like writing her letters.” (200)
Jackson had to have our shift in POV of Strangeworth happen so that we could have the shift in POV of ourselves!
Strangeworth is trying to prevent the evil in her town – making her town fit her idea of normal – but she CAUSED the evil – IRONY!
Roses being destroyed cemented her idea that people are evil
Theme: Two wrongs don’t make a right! Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind! Can’t fight fire with fire! Can’t fight evil with evil!
Protagonist – Strangeworth
External Conflict Question: Can Strangeworth purge the town of evil?
External Antagonist: Townspeople
Internal Conflict Question: Can Strangeworth recognize that what she is doing is evil?
Internal Antagonist: Evil within herself
Setting: No specific time or place/beautiful summer day/small, quaint town
· Universality – could be anywhere because evil exists anywhere
Climax: “Besides, Ms. Strangeworth liked writing her letters” (200)
Exposition: Nice old lady in nice old town who loves her roses and won’t share them with anyone!
Denouement: Last paragraph OR change in our perspective of ourselves (just like “A Man Who Had No Eyes”)
· Pleasant Street
· Harris Boy
Irony – EVERYTHING IS IRONIC!
· Harris Boy’s actions
· Her letters
· Ms Strangeworth
· Diction: “dainty”, “little dimple” (196)
· “dainty” (196) v “dainty” (202)
· Repetition (200) & (202)
· Entitlement: “her town, her people” (202)
· “Intense happiness” (203) links with “besides, Ms. Strangeworth liked writing her letter” (200)
· “other letters” (199) – adds to mood?
· All happy at the beginning then shifts gradually – mood/tone/atmosphere!
Gnothi Seaton – could compare to almost anything
· Oedipus Rex (surprise, surprise!), “The Flash”, “Friendship”, Lord of the Flies
· “The Lottery” comparison
· Real world examples – the evil within all of us
· Machiavellian idea of “ends justifying the means”