J. D. Salinger's Teddy

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The short story Teddy, by J.D. Salinger, is a story about a ten-year-old boy named Teddy who is extremely matured for his age. The story begins on a cruise ship with Teddy’s mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. McArdle, along with his sister who they call Booper. This short story explains how Teddy sees life and how he lives it. In the following paragraphs I will write about the characters, setting, theme, point of view, and symbolism. The short story, Teddy, consists of five important characters, Mr. and Mrs. McArdle, Booper, Bob Nicholson, and the protagonist, Teddy. Mr. McArdle is a very loud and stereotypical American consumer that cares only about his possessions, such as his Leica camera and his Gladstone bag. To furthermore the stereotype…show more content…
Salinger, has multiple themes in its story. Spiritual knowledge is a theme in this story because Teddy, the protagonist reveals early on in the story to be a genius. Teddy, although he is only ten years old, has beliefs similar to ancient eastern religion’s philosophy. He believes in reincarnation and the concept of moksha, which means to be released of the cycle of reincarnation and join back with your God. Teddy thinks he has had several lives before him, in which one of them he was in India and almost became even closer to becoming enlightened but he was distracted, “’I met a lady, and I sort of stopped meditating.” <…> “I would have had to take another body and come back to earth anyways¬– I mean I wasn’t so spiritually advanced that I could have died, <…> and then gone straight to Brahma””(Salinger, 188). Teddy begins and ends with the theme of death. At the beginning of the story Teddy has half of his body out the window, not frightened of falling at all and at the end, Teddy correctly predicts his death subconsciously, “”I could go downstairs to the pool, and there might not be any water in it. <…> I might walk up to the edge of it, just to have a look at the bottom, for instance, and my sister might come up and sort of push me in. I could fracture my skull and die instantaneously.””(Salinger,

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