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ILSHS Volume 66

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A Psychological Reading of J. D. Salinger’s “For Esme with Love and Squalor”

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The 20th century has witnessed a plethora of war stories, but among them Salinger’s “For Esme with Love and Squalor,” a minor masterpiece as Paul Alexander calls it, stands out. It also falls among those typical Salingerian child-adult relationships that highlight the non-phony members of society with many things in common distinguishing them from the other so-called normal members of the society. In the current study, characters are studied from a psychological point of view and classified into two major groups by the researchers. The first group and the main focus of the study is the minority of society and the second group relates to the majority or commonality. The minority group includes Salinger’s heroes and protagonists who are later known as psychoneurotic. This first group feels affinity to the children who are far away from the hostility and harshness of adults’ world as, to Salinger, the concept of innocence means being away from the false standards and hypocrisy of the majority of the insensitive society. The researchers try to distinguish between these two groups from different psychological and psychoanalytic aspects. Despite the contrast between these two groups, there are some similarities in their sexual conceptions and psychological adjustment that clarify similarities in traits and responses in the form of adopting different mechanisms to adjust and remove tensions and alleviate anxiety employing the mechanisms Freud calls palliative remedies.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 66)
M. H. Nesami and A. Moulavi Nafchi, "A Psychological Reading of J. D. Salinger’s “For Esme with Love and Squalor”", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 66, pp. 45-60, 2016
Online since:
February 2016

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