Pillar of Salt

Shirley Jackson

American Patchwork edited by Betty Keene Taska

1. Extend the story by elaborating on the phone conversation between Margaret and Brad. Have Margaret explain to her husband why he has to come to get her at the drugstore and why she had to call him.

2. Write about an incident that made you feel a sudden or unreasonable fear. What caused it? What did you do?

3. In the fable "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse," the country mouse decides to return to the country because of scary things that happen to him in the city. Would you rather be a city mouse or a country mouse? Write a short essay explaining your choice.

4. You may want to read more about Shirley Jackson or some of her other works. Here are some sites you can visit:


This site includes various links to Shirley Jackson, including short story excerpts, biographies, art, reviews and magazine articles.


This site includes a link to a reading of Shirley Jackson's most famous short story, "The Lottery" and to an article in Salon Magazine by Jonathan Lethem, "Monstrous Acts and Little Murders."


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contents ••• title page ••• author ••• pre-story ••• in-story ••• exercises ••• follow-up