Celia Behind Me Analysis

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How We Treat Others Defines Us
“Treat people how you would like to be treated.” That is what parents always tell their children. I think in general we all try to do this, but it is a very hard motto to live by. When comparing the short stories “The Possibility of Evil” and “Celia behind Me” both characters battle with walking this path, and don’t think about the repercussions of their actions until it is thrown back at them.

Even though the characters Miss Strangeworth and Elizabeth are from different age groups they share many of the same mean and vindictive qualities. Elizabeth spent most of her time trying to run away from Celia that she never stopped to think about how lonely and unwanted Celia felt in the process. Elizabeth did not like
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Sometimes it can hurt more than people realize. In the story Celia behind me, the author ( Isabel Huggan ) gives us the impression that Elizabeth has a large amount of hatred for Celia which she openly expresses to anyone that will listen. In many occasions she uses her hatred for Celia as a “temporary safety” so that the other kids don’t start making fun of her. “For all I knew, deep in my wretched heart, that were it not for Celia I was next in line for humiliation.” Isabel Huggan , Celia behind Me. (p 76) Elizabeth did everything she could to ensure the teasing, finger pointing and laughter was all directed at Celia so as to not face the same mean behaviour . On the other hand, Miss Strangworth goes out of her way to give out letters that are on a pad that is very common in the community so that it cannot be linked to her. Instead of being up front and being accountable for her own actions and how she views people she chooses to citizen. “Miss Strangeworth used a pad of various-coloured paper, layered in pink and green and blue and yellow; everyone in town bought it and used it for odd, informal notes and shopping lists.” Shirley Jackson, The Possibility of Evil. (p 4) When the character Miss Strangeworth writes these letters behind her neighbors’ backs she doesn’t have to feel the guilt of dealing with their feelings or how they may react. Both characters have their own way of hiding behind the senses so they don’t have to take responsibility of their …show more content…
In both stories the characters Elizabeth and Miss Strangeworth really struggled with how their friends, families and even neighbors thought of them. Elizabeth was devastated when all her friends were on the bridge yelling down to her and calling her by her nick name, Sucky. She brutally attacked Celia and even though she may have died she still only worried about showing her face in public. She valued her reputation and how people viewed her over the health and wellbeing of another. "Thinking that I may die myself, die right here, and then it wouldn't matter if they told on me that I killed Celia." Isabel Huggan , Celia Behind Me. (p 81) In the "Possibility of Evil" the author Shirley Jackson represented Miss Strangeworth in a very was similar light. She was determined to uphold a high profile reputation in front of her little community. She did everything the proper way, right down to her roses and how they represented her front yard. That’s why her anonymous letters were so important to stay anonymous. She felt it was her duty to represent her town proud and to have everyone see her as a good neighbor. It was very clear that she ruffled people’s feathers, and did it with her head held high. So, when she received the green letter in her mail slot and read the contents letting her know to check her roses she could do nothing but cry inside. "She began to cry silently for the wickedness of

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