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ERIC Number: ED020180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
HELL IN NEW YORK, J. D. SALINGER'S "PRETTY MOUTH AND GREEN MY EYES".
HAMILTON, KENNETH
THIS SALINGER STORY OF "DECEIT-WITHIN-DECEIT" IS A MORAL CONDEMNATION OF SOCIETY. ARTHUR, AWARE OF HIS WIFE JOANIE'S INFIDELITY, CANNOT OBJECT BECAUSE IN HIS BUSINESS LIFE HE IS DEPENDENT ON LEE, HER LOVER, FOR PROTECTION FROM "JUNIOR." ARTHUR'S DESPAIR IS NOT COMPLETE, HOWEVER, SINCE HE GAINS A MORAL VICTORY BY USING HIS IMAGINATION, A QUALITY WITH WHICH LEE CANNOT COPE. IMAGERY, THE KEY TO TRUTH IN THE STORY, INVOLVES THE COLORS OF WHITE AND ROSE (SYMBOLIC OF JOANIE'S PREVIOUS PURITY) AND REFERENCES TO ANIMALS (SYMBOLIC OF HER PRESENT STATE). FURTHER, ARTHUR IS CALLED AN "ABSOLUTE CHILD" DUE TO HIS POETIC IMAGINATION, WHEREAS JOANIE IS A "GROWN CHILD," AN ADULT UNAWAKENED TO REALITY AND SPIRITUAL VALUES. MOREOVER, THE ALLUSION TO "JUNIOR" EXPANDS TO INCLUDE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD. AT THE END OF THE STORY, LEE REALIZES THAT IT IS HIS SITUATION THAT IS HOPELESS SINCE HE IS IN THE HELL OF THOSE WHO DEAL IN APPEARANCES AND CANNOT LOVE, WHILE ARTHUR, HAVING DECIDED TO GO TO SEE JUNIOR, HAS GAINED NEW HOPE. (THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN "DALHOUSIE REVIEW," VOL. 47 (AUTUMN 1967), 394-399.) (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Salinger (J D)