In this portion of the webbook, we perform an analysis of the most important elements in the short story "Charles" by Shirley Jackson. On this page, we give a brief summary of our analysis.
First, we look at how the short story is structured. Who are the central characters? Does the plot follow a common structure? In this case, we find that the ending of the story is climactic. For good measure, we also take a look at the title and its meaning for the story.
Then we characterize the main persons involved in the short story. Laurie and Laurie's parents are the main characters, and we give an in-depth characterization of their inner and outer traits, we also deal with the imaginary title character Charles.
Then, we set out to look at the setting of the short story. We not only look at the physical and periodical setting of the short story, which is the United States in the 1940's, but also the social setting. Which social issues may surround the narrative in terms of health, class, and education?
Moving on, we discover that the story is told through the perspective of one of the main characters with a rather limited point of view.
As the last step of the analysis, we examine the language used in the short story. Particularly, we are interested in imagery and symbolism.