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For Esmé with Love and Squalor

For Esmé with Love and Squalor

by

J.D. Salinger

 Table of Contents

For Esmé with Love and Squalor Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Paragraph)

Quote #1

I then looked through all my pockets, including my raincoat, and finally found a couple of stale letters to reread, one from my wife, telling me how the service at Schrafft's Eighty-Eighth street had fallen off, and one from my mother-in-law, asking me to please send her some cashmere yarn first chance I got away from "camp." (9)

These letters are interestingly unsentimental and devoid of any trace of affection – you'd think that if your husband/son-in-law/brother were away in a distant land fighting a war, you might be a little more loving. However, all of the narrator's relationships at home seem to be strangely dull and lackluster.

Quote #2

"Are you very deeply in love with your wife? Or am I being too personal?"

I said that when she was, I'd speak up. (35-36)

Hmm. Note that the narrator doesn't actually answer the question. Is he very deeply in love with his banal-sounding wife? We're not sure.

Quote #3

"I'm training myself to be more compassionate. My aunt says I'm a terribly cold person […] Do you find me terribly cold?"

"I told her absolutely not – very much to the contrary, in fact. (40-42)

Esmé recognizes that love and compassion are important, and is concerned that she doesn't have enough.

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