Seven Types Of Ambiguity By Shirley Jackson

1066 Words 5 Pages
Seven Types of Ambiguity What is a short story? When thinking of a short story what comes to mind? A short story consists primarily of three key elements. These elements are characterization, conflict, and theme. Shirley Jackson’s story, “Seven Types of Ambiguity”, is a very good example when thinking of a short story. The story consists of all three elements characterization, conflict, and theme. In her story, Shirley Jackson creates an atmosphere of the unknown. A.M. Homes said, “The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable. It is a place where things are not what they seem.” She does a very good job in using characterization in creating this atmosphere. Characterization is very eminent in Jackson’s story. Many of the …show more content…
Without conflict the story would be very boring. It would be the same as reading a dictionary. Conflict is the struggle between opposing forces. In “Seven Types of Ambiguity” we see two different types of conflict. The first and most prominent conflict is Man versus Himself. It occurs when a character is struggling against either their mind or something inside of them. The man struggles with himself in two ways. First the man wishes he had read more as a child and blames not having the time to do it. In reality he wasn’t very interested, because if he was really interested in reading he would have made the time to read. The second way is he tries to act like he knows a lot about books even though he really doesn’t. This makes him look even less smart. The second Conflict is man versus man which is a struggle that occurs between two characters. This conflict occurs between the man and Mr. Clark. The man’s admiration for Mr. Clark turned into jealousy toward him, which caused a struggle between the two. Although Mr. Clark did not do anything, the man starts to dislike Mr. Clark and because of that he buys the book Mr. Clark was saving up so hard to get. We do not know what happens after that because the story ends, but we can just imagine the reaction Mr. Clark would have had. These two conflicts are the most common among short stories and are very easy to pick out. Characterization and conflict are not the only …show more content…
The theme of a story is how that story applies to one’s life and what lesson can be learned from that story. The main theme of “Seven Types of Ambiguity” is “be honest with yourself and others”. If examined close enough it can be seen that the big man was trying to act like something he was not. He was not honest with himself and he definitely was not honest with Mr. Clark. These lies encouraged him that it was okay to be jealous, and from that formed the conflict between the two men. If the man had been honest with himself and Mr. Clark all the conflict could have been avoided, but because of a few little lies he became jealous. The theme plays a big role in a story and is the final element of a short

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