Shirley Jackson Quotes

52 of the best book quotes from Shirley Jackson
“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,”
″ People ain’t the way they used to be. ”
“All right, folks. Let’s finish quickly. ”
“The lottery was conducted – as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program – by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities.”
“Clean forgot what day it was,”
“Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand.‘”
“Although Mr. Summers and everyone else in the village knew the answer perfectly well, it was the business of the official of the lottery to ask such questions formally.”
“Get up there, Bill,”
“Guess we better get started, get this over with, so we can go back to work.”
″ So much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded. ”
“Someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.”
“Mrs. Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar. ‘Come on,’ she said. ‘Hurry up.‘”
″‘There goes my old man.’ Mrs. Delacroix said. She held her breath while her husband went forward.”
“No one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. ”
“Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon. ”
“There’s always been a lottery. ”
“Daughters draw with their husbands’ families, Tessie,”
“You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!”
″‘There’s Don and Eva,’ Mrs. Hutchinson yelled. ‘Make them take their chance!’
“The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions; most of them were quiet, wetting their lips, not looking around.”
“Promise me absolutely that you will leave, as fast as you can, if you begin to feel the house catching at you.”
″‘Don’t look back,’ she cried out in a voice high with fear, ‘don’t look back—don’t look—run!‘”
“During the whole underside of her life, ever since her first memory, Eleanor had been waiting for something like Hill House. Caring for her mother, lifting a cross old lady from her chair to her bed, setting out endless little trays of soup and oatmeal, steeling herself to the filthy laundry, Eleanor had held fast to the belief that someday something would happen.”
“None of them heard it, she thought with joy; nobody heard it but me.”
″‘I don’t stay after I set out dinner,’ Mrs. Dudley went on. ‘Not after it begins to get dark. I leave before dark comes.‘”
“‘It’s the home I’ve always dreamed of,’ Theodora said. ‘A little hideaway where I can be alone with my thoughts. Particularly if my thoughts happen to be about murder or suicide or—‘”
“I really am doing it, she thought, turning the wheel to send the car directly at the great tree at the curve of the driveway, I am really am doing it, I really am doing this all by myself, now, at last; this is me, I am really really really doing it by myself.”
“They perceived at the same moment the change in the path and each knew then the other’s knowledge of it; Theodora took Eleanor’s arm and, afraid to stop, they moved on slowly, close together, and ahead of them the path widened and blackened and curved.”
“Without a word Theodora took up the quilt from the foot of the doctor’s bed and folded it around Eleanor and herself, and they moved close together, slowly in order not to make a sound. Eleanor, clinging to Theodora, deadly cold in spite of Theodora’s arms around her, thought, It knows my name, it knows my name this time. The pounding came up the stairs, crashing on each step.”
“I am making these directions so detailed because it is inadvisable to stop in Hillsdale to ask your way. The people there are rude to strangers and openly hostile to anyone inquiring about Hill House.”
“God God—whose hand was I holding?”
“All of them stood in silence for a moment and looked at HELP ELEANOR COME HOME ELEANOR written in shaky red letters on the wallpaper over Theodora’s bed.”
“‘It watches,’ he added suddenly. ‘The house. It watches every move you make.’ And then, ‘My own imagination, of course.‘”
″...‘you heard the story of Hill House and decided not to stay. How would you leave, tonight?’ He looked around at them again, quickly. ‘The gates are locked. Hill House has a reputation for insistent hospitality; it seemingly dislikes letting its guests get away. The last person who tried to leave Hill House in darkness—it was eighteen years ago, I grant you—was killed at the turn in the driveway, where his horse bolted and crushed him against the big tree. Suppose I tell you about Hill House, and one of you wants to leave? Tomorrow, at least, we could see that you got safely to the village.‘”
“‘I’ve never been wanted anywhere,’ she said.”
″‘Essentially,’ he went on slowly, ‘the evil is the house itself, I think. It has enchained and destroyed its people and their lives, it is a place of contained ill will. […].‘”
“No stone lions for me, [Eleanor] thought, no oleanders; I have broken the spell of Hill House and somehow come inside. I am home, she thought, and stopped in wonder at the thought. I am home, I am home, she thought; now to climb.”
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
“The light changed; she turned onto the highway and was free of the city. No one, she thought, can catch me now; they don’t even know which way I’m going.”
“It’s harder to burn down a house than you think,” Luke said.
“I was never sorry when I had thoughts like this; I only wished they would come true.”
“Mary Katherine should have anything she wants, my dear. Our most loved daughter must have anything she likes…”
″‘Oh, Constance,’ I said, ‘we are so happy.’”
“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had.”
“Sometimes I feel I would give anything to have them all back again.”
“She told the police that it was all her fault.”
“If I had a winged horse, I would fly him to the moon; he would be more comfortable there.”
“As a matter of fact, Uncle Julian, my father left nothing.”
″‘Don’t you ever want to leave here, Merricat?’ ‘Where could we go?’ I asked her. ‘What place would be better for us than this? Who wants us, outside? The world is full of terrible people.‘”
“I could wish him dead until he died.”
“You had dinner here last night and woke up alive this morning.”
“On the moon, Uncle Julian would be well and the sun would shine every day.”

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