De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period
De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period
by J.D. Salinger

De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period Analysis

Literary Devices in De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Jean has two intense experiences outside the display window of the orthopedic appliance shop that is underneath Les Amis Des Vieux Maitres. There is lots of symbolism at work in those scenes, but b...

Setting

Jean spent the second half of his childhood in Paris, and Paris is a place Jean longs for. (We could think of it as the geographical equivalent to his mother, or Sister Irma.) New York City is his...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of "Jean de Daumier-Smith's Blue Period" is a nameless man, looking back at his nineteen-year-old self. He focuses on the year, 1939, just after the death of his mother. We don't know...

Genre

As is the case here, the coming-of-age stories feature a young person struggling to make the transition from kid to grownup, often before he or she is ready. In the case of "Blue Period" the death...

Tone

We put "sad" first because, as we discuss in "What's Up with the Title?" a "blue period" is to be taken seriously. But, if taken too seriously "blue" can become a permanent condition. One of this n...

Writing Style

"De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period" is what is often called a "frame" story. The beginning and ending of such a story take place outside the action of the central story. The frame can be incomplete &#...

What's Up With the Title?

This funny sounding title announces several important aspects of the story, namely, sadness, art, and humor.First, sadness. Even if you don't instantly connect the "Blue Period" with Pablo Picasso...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

We know the sound of two hands clapping. But what is the sound of one hand clapping?– A Zen KōanOne hand clapping. What could this mean? Try thinking about it for a couple of days or yea...

What's Up With the Ending?

In this section we'll be focusing on two aspects of the ending – the mysterious phrase Jean scribbles in his diary after his second epiphany, and the actual ending of the story (i.e., paragra...

Plot Analysis

A Death in the FamilyBobby Agadganian seems to be a bit player in this drama, but he's the guy on the narrator's mind when he begins the story of his (Jean's) Montreal adventure. The story is meant...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Getting a jobBooker says that the hero in this stage of this plot type is often "young and naïve," "curious," and "reckless." This certainly sounds like our Jean. These characteristics, combin...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The show begins and we see, on the screen, a man of indeterminate age writing at a desk. A voiceover commences and we learn that if the man's story "made any real sense" he would "dedicate" it "to...

Trivia

Salinger's son, Mathew, is an actor. (Source)Salinger's letters are valuably property. In 1999, some of his personal letters were auctioned off for $156,000. (Source)

Steaminess Rating

In spite of its aspirations to ribaldry, sex is notable because nobody seems to be having any. Jean's description of himself as an "evil-minded monk" (68) is most probably a reference to masturbati...

Allusions

Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu (20)36, 44, 45 of the Harvard Classics (52)El Greco (5)Honoré Daumier (7)Pablo Picasso (7, 21, 30, 38Rembrandt (31, 32)Walt Disney (31)John Singer Sargent (31)"Titan" Ti...

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