Charles by Shirley Jackson summary - Short Story summaries collection: Charles, Shirley Jackson
Charles by Shirley Jackson
Short Story summaries collection: Charles, Shirley Jackson, summary
There is a little boy called Laurie who just got into kindergarten. Always when he returns from kindergarten, he tells his mother and his father what a boy called “Charles” did. His parents think that his Charles is a very bad influence for Laurie, because suddenly, his grammar got worse, he became unfriendly and plays pranks on his parents and so on.
Charles by Shirley Jackson
In the first two weeks, Charles always does something bad. He throws with chalks, hits the teacher, because the teacher told him to paint something in red, but he wanted it in green, disturbs story time in the kindergarten, and he even yelled out loud. He had to stay after school and somehow all the other children stayed with him – also Laurie.
Now, the parents really worry about this boy, because Laurie has been influenced by him quite a lot.
The third weeks remained peacefully, suddenly. The parents couldn’t even believe what Laurie told them. Charles collected the books which laid on the floor, gave the crayons around and for his nice behaviour he received an apply from the kindergarten teacher and was called “her helper”.
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Laurie’s parents are curious to find out more about the Charles’ mother next week during the PTA meeting.
Peace didn’t rest for too long, because just the week afterwards Charles made a little girl say a very bad word (unknown in the story) and even made her cry. He also punched another boy in his stomach and hit the teacher again and he said the bad word himself several times!
At the PTA meeting finally, Laurie’s mother was very curious to find out more about Charles’ mother. But no one stood up to apologize for Charles’ behaviour nor was he mentioned one single time. As soon as the mother spotted Laurie’s (and Charles’) kindergarten teacher, the teacher said that Laurie is an interesting boy and that there were some problems with him adjusting to a peaceful kindergarten life. The mother told the teacher that he talks about kindergarten every day and supposes that these behavioural problems are all due to Charles. Then she jokes a bit and says that the teacher must have her hands full with the boy Charles. But the only reply she gets from the teacher is that there is no such a boy called Charles…
Additum - Question and Answers
Many people, who visited my summary of Charles asked me what the connection of Charles'/Laurie's mother with Shirley Jackson is. I tried to figure it out and I didn't find anything deep, but from what I know, both of them are female and mothers. I know, it sounds obvious, but I don't believe there is more to it. Both mothers. End of story ;).