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The Collision of Childs World with the World of Adults in Nine Stories: Ingenuousness vs. Insensitivity - Essay Example

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The aim of this essay is to analyze nine particular short stories written by Jerome David Salinger on the subject of transition from childhood in independent adult life. The writer will analyze how the characters face change from naive and simple life to the brutal and sometimes cruel real world…
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The Collision of Childs World with the World of Adults in Nine Stories: Ingenuousness vs. Insensitivity
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Download file to see previous pages In the adult world, the adult who forgot how to properly behave and how things should properly be is not considered normal. He either pretends with an incomprehensible purpose to be a child—but the falsity is easily seen—or he is not well, but ill, wrong, inadequate for the reality which imposed its own laws. The Collision of Child’s World with the World of Adults in Nine Stories: Ingenuousness vs. Insensitivity By Salinger, a person is strange if he does not understand the relativity of the world and does not understand the precariousness of what is called immutable. This idea is conveyed by his character, the boy Teddy. All his actions, his manners, his thoughts belong to a child. And at the same time, he becomes like a dream of the author of the child who has absorbed the best, not repulsive and trivial traits of an adult. Adults play in this story episodic roles, in the whole, they are merely a demonstration. They emphasize their insensitivity, stereotyping (they’re not taking Teddy seriously, because it’s impossible in the adult world), inconsistency, lack of coordination between two worlds, one of which is governed by the light, lively and bright, and another by familiar, static, and trivial. In The Laughing Man a child on whose behalf the story is told, readily believes in the story of the Laughing Man, and indeed the whole life for him is an exciting game in this tale, flavored with romantic notions about his affiliation to it (as if he is a secret descendant of the Man) as well as the remaining twenty-four “Comanches”. But the story is told not by a child, as if everything had happened a long time ago and events have taken, as usual, they take over time, a little more streamlined and uniquely beautiful romantic form. A particular value to this story is given by the narrator’s nostalgia, a longing for a permanently vanished child’s happiness, this naive belief in the Laughing Man, a longing for a strange and ridiculous, naive opportunity to get lost “...somewhere on that tricky stretch of terrain between the Linit sign and the site of the western end of the George Washington Bridge”, for misunderstanding of the adults, which frees of all the real and mundane, that poisons adulthood. A wise, understanding adult appears in another story in this series – Down at the Dinghy. This is the mother of a little boy. The boy always runs away from home, he does not agree, he cannot take the adult world in which it is accepted and normal to say bizarre, hurtful things. The protest of this story is completely in tune with the protest of Teddy. A boy, alone in his secret knowledge of something (which is the understanding of injustice, categoricalness, and nastiness of all things around), unwilling to accept the existing rules and concepts, he shuts himself with a wall, through which initially even his mother cannot pass. But while Teddy is fully aware of what he does, Lionel is too young to understand everything. All that he has are alive, exuberant feelings, and the protest and dissent are subliminal in nature. The story Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut shows a terrible precipice with a narrow path on its edge. Life has become a tragic absurdity after a ridiculous coincidence that caused the death of Eloise’s husband.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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