Jerome D. Salinger's For Esmé-With Love And Squalor

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Many stories are capable of retaining the reader’s attention, however, Jerome D. Salinger, the popular author of the novel Catcher in the Rye, has written a short story, “For Esmé- with Love and Squalor,” which captivates the reader in such an appealing way. Through his use of techniques, strong characters, and realism, Salinger mesmerizes the reader until the story is complete. Even the title of the narrative brings about a reflective feel to the reader. By way of these devices, Salinger’s story strays from the normal story telling path and, consequently, may bring the reader to contemplate his or her own views about love and squalor. This short story is broken up into two separate parts. The first, about when the narrator first met Esmé…show more content…
These being, “Are you very deeply in love with your wife?” (Salinger 95) and “Are you at all acquainted with squalor?” (103). The point of asking about the love for his wife is to build up the story, since, in the introduction of the story, the wedding is for Esmé. The narrator responds to the squalor inquiry saying that he is associating himself with it one way or another. The narrator concludes his adventure of understanding with squalor in the second part of the story by becoming Sergeant X. He has been encased in the squalor of war from which he cannot escape without…show more content…
Sergeant X had experienced five campaigns since the invasion. Despite war, the more squalid to Sergeant X are other’s reactions to the war. On that account, the letters written by friends and family from home are unfeeling and selfish leaving X to stop reading them. Even his fellow soldiers including Clay impersonate the roles of vanquishing heroes “to the point they cannot recognize the depths of inhumanity of which they have wallowed in” (Bryan 282). Only X is able to look past the great battle victories and see the truth of the imitators. Salinger wanted the readers to fathom the idea that war actually can and will destroy the psyche of a soldier. That happened exactly to X; he converted into a depressed, pessimistic version of himself. War is the biggest motif of this story, because it held a grasp on the narrator through his roller coaster of experiences. Another way by which Salinger captivates the reader’s attention and manipulates his reader to contemplate his or her own views about love and squalor is through the characters of the two children, Charles and Esmé. Hermann holds that the children, mainly Esmé, deserve their attention in the

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