J.D. Salinger (bio 1) Born and raised in Manhattan Served as counter-intelligence officer in WW2 Suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (postwar) Gained acclaim as a short story writer Short stories focus on innocence, nuances of modern phoniness and increasing public awareness of PTSD Gained literary celebrity status with 1951’s The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger (bio 2) Retreated from fame due to CITR and lived as a recluse in Cornish, N.H. Never did interviews, nor published any of his writing after the early 1960s. 1960s through 80s saw a number of religious shifts in belief, relationships with women and legal interventions to protect his fiction and privacy Continued to shun public attention until his death in 2010 at 91.
Phony Characters superficial/ self-absorbed / conceited/ uncaring materialistic / worldly – frequently do not get along with genuine characters Genuine Characters innocent / caring / sensitive / imaginative –frequently do not get along with phony characters
Character Labels P static phony character G static genuine character P dynamic character that looses innocence/ shifts toward phoniness P dynamic character that shifts away / realizes own phoniness
A Perfect Day for Bananafish Muriel P Muriel’s mom P Sybil G Sybil’s mom P Seymour G or P
A Perfect Day for Bananafish “live a tragic life” “swim into a whole” “eat too many bananafish” “so big they can’t swim out” “they die”
Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut Mary Jane P Eloise P Ramona G Lew G
Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut Jimmy Walt boots – sword soldier accidental death accidental death Walt’s imagination connects him to Ramona, Eloise says “poor Uncle Wiggily” and the “beautiful stomach” “hand through window” scene
Just Before the War with the Eskimos GinnieP Selena P Franklin G Eric P
Just Before the War with the Eskimos The stupid unnecessary conflict = Ginnie and Selena’s unnecessary conflict, which has not yet ended the friendship (gone to war) chicken sandwich = ?
The Laughing Man The Chief P The CommanchesG Mary Hudson P
The Laughing Man The Chief’s capacity for imagination represents his slipping hold on innocence. His killing off of the character, the storytelling itself, represents his loss of innocence which coincides with his breakup with Mary Hudson (who now refuses to play baseball)
Down at the Dinghy Sandra P Mrs. Snell P Lionel G Boo BooG
Down at the Dinghy Boo Boo is clearly a character opposite of Eloise, who embraces and “meets” her son down at his level at the dinghy. Salinger repeated this theme of escaping the phoniness of the world by running away in other works, but the point is that you can’t merely run away…sort of ironic considering his bio.
Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes Lee P Arthur G EllenbogensP Joanie P
Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes A line from a poem Arthur wrote for Joanie years before. The poem quite pointedly points out the color of her eyes as “seashells” (purple) which matches the color of the women in bed. Her behavior / dialogues also matches his wife’s behavior. Bed bugs & eye movement
For Esme– With Love and Squalor EsmeG or P Charles G Sergeant X G Corporal Z P Loretta P
For Esme– With Love and Squalor The story itself is a present to Esme years letter as a wedding gift from Sergeant X. He is fulfilling a promise to right her a story. How is it a story of squalor and love?
Teddy Not on the test. Multiple choice questions on midterm. Exhibits J.D.’s increased interest in Buddhism. Other stories are “primers.” Teddy G Nicholson G Teddy’s parents P Teddy’s obnoxious sister probably G