Shirley Jackson Study Guide

9 September 2016

Introduction a. Hook: It is not always true that with age comes wisdom. b. Lead: In Shirley Jackson’s short stories, “Afternoon in Linen” and “After You My Dear Alphonse” it is the children who show wisdom by not acting superior to others around them. c. Thesis: In “Afternoon in Linen” and “After You My Dear Alphonse” Shirley Jackson uses similar characterizations and irony to create this theme. II. BP 1 a. Topic- A narrow minded person often chooses not to let in the clear facts when a thought is planted in their head. b. Characterization: Mrs. Wilson is narrow minded . Examples i. Assumes that Johnny made Boyd carry all the wood because he is African American ii. Assumes Boyd’s father is a laborer in the factory iii. Assumes his mother would work iv. Assumes he does not eat well v. Assumes he needs clothes vi. Assumes he has many brothers and sisters d. Concluding- Mrs. Wilson was set on the idea that because Boyd was African American he was poor. Even after being told repeatedly she was wrong she continued to push and push. III. BP 2 a. Topic- Showing off hardly ever turns out well. b. Characterization: Harriet’s grandmother, Ms.

Lennon, is narrow minded c. Examples i. Talks about how her granddaughter plays all the time ii. Gets upset when Harriet won’t play music and pushes her to read her poems iii. Keeps pushing and pushing even when Harriet keeps denying iv. Doesn’t realize what Harriet is doing and doesn’t care because she wants to show off so badly d. Concluding- Ms. Lennon tried to show off Harriet but Harriet would rather be considered a plagiarist than show off. IV. BP 3 a. Topic- When a person is convinced they are right it’s hard to persuade them otherwise. b. Irony: Mrs.

Shirley Jackson Study Guide Essay Example

Wilson acts even worse to Boyd when she realizes he doesn’t need her help c. Examples i. When Boyd keeps denying her attempts at niceness, she actually shows what is more of her actual personality –thinking she is superior to others d. Concluding- When Mrs. Wilson try’s to help Boyd thinking he is poor because he is African American she hurts encourages others to look upon her unfavorably. V. BP 4 a. Topic- A child’s willpower can overcome a grandparents competitiveness. b. Irony: Harriet would rather be considered a plagiarist than feed into her grandmother’s desire to be better than the Kator’s c. Examples i.

Harriet denies doing anything for the grandmother and actually lies to make herself look really bad just so that the grandmother cannot act superior to the Kator’s d. Concluding- Harriet’s willpower overcame her grandmothers competitiveness. VI. Conclusion a. The use of irony and characterization are effective in creating a theme b. Shirley Jackson’s short stories, “Afternoon in Linen” and “After You My Dear Alphonse” demonstrate the theme that children are more wise than adults because they have not let the evils of society impact them yet. c. The purity of a child should be used as a model for the adults of society.

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