Evil has been present since the beginning of time causing many conflicts throughout the world.
It is an inborn and nurtured behaviour, which can be heightened by one’s surrounding environment. Evil can cause one to have a very cynical outlook on life. When one becomes overcome with evil one becomes ignorant towards others and has a tendency to be very selfish. When one is corrupted by evil, his or her conscious is overthrown by their id, causing one to become sinister and callous towards the well being of others.Evil can cause people to hide their real self, expressing it in hidden meanings or actions. Miss Strangeworth expresses her true feelings not by word, but by her letters, ” Didn’t you ever see an idiot child before? Some people just shouldn’t have babies”.
(216) This expression of anger towards the Crane’s has no bearing on Miss Strangeworth. It is an id driven letter that is hurtful to the Crane’s with no guilt or consideration towards them. The thought of others is not relevant to Miss Strangeworth; however, the thought of being caught is definitely a concern.Not only does Miss Strangeworth send hurtful letters but also the letters remain nameless with no trace of who may have sent them. ” She never got any answers, of course, because she never signed her name”. (217) The vindictiveness that Miss Strangeworth displays is the work of her ego.
This act of cruelty towards others is known as displacement. Miss Strangeworth has a pain that she cannot cope with, therefore to deal with this pain she causes others to feel her pain.This is justified by her ego dominating her superego into believing that these acts of hate are potent. This overpowering ego misleads people as to what Miss Strangeworth represents. Miss Strangeworth is much like her roses; pretty and gentle from what people can see, but if handled incorrectly will prick with her thorns. Miss Strangeworth, to the blind eye is highly respected and thought of as a very pleasant person.
Underneath the Strangeworth name and her garden of roses lies a layer of thorns and evil.Miss Strangeworth believes it is her duty to inform everyone about their misfortunes. She feels as it is her town and her duty to keep it free of corruption, ” The Town where she lived had to be kept clean and sweet, but people everywhere were lustful and evil and degraded, and needed to be watched’ (217) Miss Strangeworth’s obsession with power is not limited. No matter who she is hurting, or how she is doing it, does not bring her any guilt or remorse. Miss Strangeworth is a corrupted individual and is not content unless everything goes accordingly to her.
She is not secure with herself at all. This can be due to her father rejecting her at a young age and the threat of her very feminine mother. This causes Miss Strangeworth to become sexually withdrawn and very selfish, ” Miss Strangeworth never gave away any of her roses, although the tourists often asked her. The roses belonged on Pleasant Street”. (212) This fixation with everything being perfect can be traced back to early childhood of an anal retentive personality where the parents were strict and used punishments.
This is what causes Miss Strangeworth’s obsession with perfection and her very stubborn attitude. Evil is present everywhere, at any time and in anyone. One’s ability to cope with evil largely relies on his or her past childhood experiences. Some may cope well, whereas others may not know how to cope with evil forcing the use of defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are not necessarily bad if used in moderation.
The realization remains, evil can be found in anyone, but controlling evil relies on one’s superego domination.