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Characters

Meet the Cast

Jean De Daumier-Smith

At nineteen, Jean (not his real name) is a talented art student, who happens to have a habit of making things up. After his mother dies and he moves back to New York City from Paris in 1939, he use...

Robert (Bobby) Agadganian, Jr.

Bobby doesn't feature heavily in the main action of the story, but the story is told in his honor. We get the feeling that Jean didn't appreciate him when he was alive. Now that he's dead, Jean giv...

Sister Irma

Sister Irma is Jean's fantasy crush, but he never meets her. She's taking art classes not because she wants to be a great artist, but because she'll be teaching art to kids at the convent and wants...

Mother Superior

The Mother Superior presents an additional wall between Jean and Sister Irma. (The first wall is the distance between them.) The Mother Superior writes Jean to inform him that Sister Irma will no l...

Jean's Mother

Jean's mother, like Sister Irma, is absent from the main story. But, her death in 1938 precipitates both Jean's move back to New York City (away from his beloved Paris), as well as his loneliness a...

Monsieur I. Yoshoto

M. Yoshoto is the director of Les Amis Des Vieux Maitres, ("Friends of the Old Masters"), a correspondence art school in Montreal, Canada. He is originally from Tokyo, Japan. Salinger only discusse...

Madame Yoshoto

Mme. Yoshoto is most notable in the story for cooking fish breakfast, offering Jean eggs, and for worrying that Jean needs a chair in his room. Because Jean sees her in the same stereotypical light...

Bambi Kramer

Bambi Kramer (a pseudonym) is one of Jeans correspondence students. Her favorite artists are Walt Disney and Rembrandt. At least according to Jean, she's a terrible artist. She is mentioned in the...

R. Howard Ridgefield

Howard Ridgefield, "a retired society photographer" is another of Jean's correspondence students. Among other things, he draws "male and female nudes (sans sex organs)" (36). He seems to be mostly...

The Man With No Nose

The man with no nose was reportedly seen by Jean on his happiest day. For a full discussion of this strange and unique character, see our discussion of the nose in "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory."

The Woman In the Window

Jean sees her in the window of the orthopedic appliance shop just before he has his second epiphany. She is significant because she shows Jean that there is nothing to be feared from the orthopedic...

Mrs. X

Mrs. X is a woman Bobby dates. She is present at dinner when Jean tells Bobby he's going to Montreal to teach art school. Young Jean imagines (hilariously) that Mrs. X wants to throw Bobby over for...

Father Zimmermann and Dentist Zimmerman

Father Zimmerman is the priest for whom Sister Irma is substitute teaching. He is also the person who revokes her permission to take art lessons, presumably after reading Jean's letter encouraging...
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