Literary Analysis: Charles, By Shirley Jackson

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Literary Essay: “Charles” Shirley Jackson’s realistic fiction story, “Charles,” takes place mainly in Laurie’s kitchen, where he talks to his parents every day about how his day was is. Laurie is first starting Kindergarten and this makes his mom super emotional. On the first day when Laurie comes home he talks about a disruptive boy named Charles who is in his class. Soon, each day when Laurie comes home it becomes almost routine that he tells his parents what bad thing Charles did that day in class and what punishment the teacher would give him. This problem creates a theme of when a person tells you something, it may not always be true. In the story, the mom faces the problem of jumping to conclusions, based on what she is hearing …show more content…
Jackson uses foreshadowing by dropping hints in different parts of the story. She does this so that after revealing the revolution of the real troublemaker being Laurie you can look back at how the author provides evidence to support it. For example, on page 2 of the story, Laurie calls his dad an old dust mop and his parents never say anything about it and just go back to talking about Charles. This connects to the resolution where the mom finds out that the real Charles is Laurie and that Charles never existed. When you look back you see how quite a few times when Laurie is home, he is disrespectful to his parents and doesn’t have any proper manners. Along with using foreshadowing, the author also uses irony. Irony is used towards the end of the story when the mom is trying to find out who Charles the troublemaker's mom is at the P.T.A. meeting. The author writes on the last page, “Laurie adjusts very quickly. I suppose this time it’s Charles’s influence.” The irony of the situation is that right away the mom is thinking that Laurie's behavior is coming from having Charles around but really Laurie is the one causing problems in school. These two extra devices used by the author helps create the big theme of the …show more content…
After the mom gets the shocking reply from the teacher who questions who Charles is, the mom faces the shocking conclusion of learning that there was no Charles and that Laurie is the kid causing problems in the classroom. Shirley Jackson gives off the theme in “Charles” by using foreshadowing and irony. At the end, you learn how the mom was too quick to go off of someone else's word and learns that she can’t believe everything she hears from other

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