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For Esmé with Love and Squalor

For Esmé with Love and Squalor


by J.D. Salinger

For Esmé with Love and Squalor Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What statement do you think Salinger is making about youth in this story?
  2. Loss plays an important role here – what are some of the different ways Salinger's characters cope with loss?
  3. Why do you think Salinger divides his protagonist into two distinct halves (the nameless narrator and Sergeant X)?
  4. Why, in your opinion, does Esmé's letter have such a profound impact on Sergeant X at the end of the story?
  5. 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?

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