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The Short Story Charles

In: English and Literature

Submitted By oneillvic
Words 860
Pages 4
Victoria O’Neill
Sept. / 27th. /11
English/ Charles

The definition of foreshadowing is to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure. The author, Shirley Jackson, did a fantastic job using this literary device in this short story Charles. There are many instances in the story where the author gives small indications that Laurie might be the bad boy in the story, not Charles. For a kindergarten boy, Laurie knows how to cheat the system. Laurie is a loud, rambunctious, naughty kindergartener blind to his parent’s eyes. When his behavior becomes a problem in class Laurie blames it on Charles…a figure of his imagination. Laurie proceeds to home, telling his parents how Charles was disruptive in class, not even mentioning his own bad behavior. Once his parents hear bout Charles he becomes and institution in the household.

Laurie seems to know too much about Charles to only know him from school. In the text it stated, “Did Charles tell the little girl to say that?’ he asked respectfully. ‘She said it twice,’ Laurie said. ‘Charles told her to say it twice.” When I was reading the story the first time, I didn’t recognize there was more importance to that passage. When I read it the first time, I thought it was just another conversation between Laurie and his father. However, Laurie couldn’t have known that Charles told the little girl to say the appalling word twice. Another example of how Laurie seems to know a lot about Charles is when he said, “Because she tried to make him color with red crayons,’ Laurie said. ‘Charles wanted to color with green crayons so he hit the teacher and she spanked him and said nobody play with Charles but everyone did.” Yet again, how could Laurie have known Charles wanted to color with a different colored crayon. The irony of the situation was that Laurie’s parents thought Charles would be a bad influence on their faultless son when

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