Pillar of salt shirley jackson

She put her foot on the dime and then saw a quarter near it, and a nickel. She "had never seen New York except in movies, when the city was made up, to her, of penthouses filled with Noel Coward people" The title of this story, "Pillar of Salt," is not simply an allusion to the biblical story regarding Lot's wife, who becomes a pillar of salt when looking backward toward her burning hometown of Sodom.

The tooth shirley jackson pdf

From this point onward, Margaret is slowly rendered a pillar of salt, paralyzed by the city. Johnson is a man with a pocketful of peanuts and a knack for helping people out. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I've got 10 essential Shirley Jackson short stories for you to read this week. By the time she had thought of it they were on the train to Long Island; the train was broken, the seats torn and the floor dirty; one of the doors wouldn't open and the windows wouldn't shut. On her way back from the store, Margaret waits through several lights, unable to cross the street. Brad and Margaret go to a party in a cramped apartment, which is filled with many people. In "Pillar of Salt," a woman's opinion of New York City quickly sours when an otherwise normal chain of events proves too much for her to bear. By the end of the story, Margaret is unable to cross the intersection by herself and must telephone her husband for assistance. She has discovered a leg on the beach, and together, they call the police to investigate the matter. Feeling increasingly conspicuous, Margaret cannot bring herself to cross the street. Check out the 10 essential Shirley Jackson short stories I've picked below, and share your favorites with me on Twitter! Click here to buy. How dare she. But as the day wears on and Jamie does not appear, the narrator becomes increasingly anxious. I once gave my copy of Castle to a stranger at a bar.

This leads her to feel invisible, unheard, truly lost in the hustle and bustle of the party, and by extension of New York—even though her husband is with her. On the street people ask for information about others who might be trapped, and she mentions only her husband.

I felt trapped An old lady in a small town spends her time reflecting on the evil that lurks in the hearts of her neighbors, and writes nasty, divisive letters to bring it to a head.

The tooth shirley jackson

Corners of the buildings seemed to be crumbling away into fine dust that drifted downward, the granite was eroding unnoticed. In "Pillar of Salt," Margaret is struck by the impersonality of the city, the anonymity with which people stream in and out of apartments, office buildings, taxis, and public transportation. They make plans to visit friends, go shopping, attend parties, and so on. They go to Long Island for the weekend to visit friends, where Margaret remains nervous about parties and fire hazards. Jackson should be known as more than just the writer of one perfect story, particularly beyond hip literary circles, where she has cult status. From this point onward, Margaret is slowly rendered a pillar of salt, paralyzed by the city. The fire incident at the party she attends is her first significant negative experience in New York. Panicking, Margaret rushes out of the building and onto the street, only to discover that the building several doors down is on fire, which is put out quickly in ten minutes. As a result of feeling thus marginalized, Margaret gradually loses her sense of self to the point that she cannot function without her husband's assistance to cross the street.

And as a cherry on top, last year, I proposed and lead the first Shirley Jackson reading group at The Center for Fiction. On her way back from the store, Margaret waits through several lights, unable to cross the street. She did it, of course, because there was no other way.

They had been in New York nine days; tomorrow was Saturday and they were going to Long Island, coming home Sunday, and then Wednesday they were going home, really home.

They cannot name the tune—they are as of yet unaware of the dangers and excitement of the city—but they like it.

the bus shirley jackson summary

She becomes more paranoid: "She was frankly afraid by now to take a bus"

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Shirley Jackson: Pillar of Salt