For Esmé with Love and Squalor Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- What statement do you think Salinger is making about youth in this story?
- Loss plays an important role here – what are some of the different ways Salinger's characters cope with loss?
- Why do you think Salinger divides his protagonist into two distinct halves (the nameless narrator and Sergeant X)?
- Why, in your opinion, does Esmé's letter have such a profound impact on Sergeant X at the end of the story?
- What is the significance of the watch? How come Sergeant X doesn't have the courage to wind it when he sees that the crystal is broken?