Charles Shirley Jackson Coverfasrers


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  • 'Charles' by Shirley Jackson Literary Analysis, TDA, and Pre-Reading Bundle. This bundle includes Literary Analysis, Text-Dependent Analysis, and Pre-Reading Creative Writing materials for the short story “Charles” by Shirley Jackson. The bundle includes 70 pages and is priced to save you 20% off buying each of these three products at its.
  • The main character in the short story “Charles” by Shirley Jackson is Laurie. When he is in kindergarten, he behaves badly and, once home, he blames it all on Charles, whom his parents think is real. However, Charles is only a figment of the boy’s imagination and a way of preventing his parents from finding out his true personality.

'Charles' is a short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in Mademoiselle in July 1948. It was later included in her 1949 collection, The Lottery and Other Stories, and her 1953 novel, Life Among the Savages.


According to Laurie, Charles hit his teacher because she tried to make him. Charles by Shirley Jackson DRAFT. 6th - 8th grade. Oct 14, 2019 All in all, Shirley Jackson’s “Charles” is an excellent example of a classic short story. It is short in length, has a limited number of characters, and takes place in mainly one setting. Nonetheless, it explores the topic of people’s relationships and focuses on groundless judgments that people tend to make without so much as seeing a.

Plot summary[edit]

In the story, a mother laments that her 'sweet-voiced nursery-school tot' is growing up. She notes changes in his behavior: he no longer waves goodbye to her, then slams the door when he comes home and speaks insolently to his father. During lunchtime conversations, Laurie begins telling his parents stories about an ill-behaved boy in his class named Charles, who frequently misbehaves. Though in a way fascinated by the strange boy, Jackson wonders if Charles' bad influence is responsible for Laurie misbehaving. Over the ensuing weeks, Charles seems to be going from bad to worse until one day at the beginning of the week Laurie tells his parents that Charles behaved himself and that the teacher made him her helper. By the end of the week, however, Laurie claims that Charles has reverted to his old self when he makes a girl in his class say a bad word to the teacher. The next school day, Charles mumbles the word several times to himself and throws chalk. When the next PTA meeting rolls around, Laurie's mother is determined to meet Charles' mother. She closely examines the other parents and sees nothing but pleasant faces and is surprised when Charles is not mentioned at all. After the meeting, she approaches the teacher and introduces herself as Laurie's mother. The teacher says that Laurie 'had a little trouble adjusting..but now he's a fine little helper. With occasional lapses, of course.' Laurie's mother then mentions Charles and the teacher tells her that there is no one in the class named Charles.[1]

Charles Shirley Jackson Text


The most common interpretation of 'Charles' is that Laurie is Charles, and simply created the character to explain why he stayed late after school.[2] Ruth Franklin, in Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, notes that an alternative interpretation is that Charles is a supernatural being that only Laurie can see.[3]


The story continues to be taught in schools, and is Jackson's second best-known short story, after 'The Lottery'.[2]


  1. ^Jackson, Shirley (1949). The Lottery and Other St ories. Farrar, Straus. pp. 91–96.
  2. ^ ab''Charles' (Encyclopedia entry)'. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  3. ^Franklin, Ruth (September 27, 2016). Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. New York: Liveright.

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