Mrs. Wilson

Mrs. Wilson is the main character in the story “After You, My Dear Alphonse” by Shirley Jackson. Her outer characterization reveals that she is a white woman, that she is married and has a son – Johnny. She does not work and is a housewife.

At the beginning of the story, Mrs. Wilson comes across as a typical mother, concerned with the wellbeing of her son. However, from the moment when she notices that Boyd, her son’s friend, is African American, Mrs. Wilson begins to display her racism and prejudiced attitude, which goes on to dominate the rest of the story. At first, she assumes that Johnny makes Boyd do the heavy work when they play, and scolds her son for making Boyd carry a heap of wood. Her comment shows her fear that Johnny’s gesture might be considered racist. 

Also, she...

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