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Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction

by J.D. Salinger

Admiration Quotes

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Quote #1

But at twenty-three I was the sort of young man who responds to all public injury of his person, short of a fractured skull, by giving out a hollow, subnormal-sounding laugh. ("Roof Beam" 2.15)

You get the sense reading Salinger that he has a gift for observing people. This might be just the way a 23-year-old man would react to public injury.

Quote #2

To get back to the plot, I remember that while all three - the Matron of Honor, her husband, and Mrs. Silsburn - were conjunctively staring at me and watching me cough, I glanced over at the tiny elderly man in the back. He was still staring fixedly straight ahead of him. I noticed, almost with gratitude, that his feet didn't quite touch the floor. They looked like old and valued friends of mine. ("Roof Beam" 2.47)

Buddy takes comfort in the bride's father's uncle. At first, he is the only guest in the car who seems to have no interest in attacking Buddy for being Seymour's brother. The uncle's importance will grow as the story continues, though, so keep an eye out.

Quote #3

For an instant, in fact, as I looked at her, I had a very uncomfortable notion that she might even know that I was Seymour's brother. It wasn't a thought to dwell on. Instead, I looked her unsquarely in the eye and said, "He was a chiropodist." ("Roof Beam" 2.51)

In a way, Buddy is defending his brother by lying to the Matron of Honor. By protecting information about Seymour, he shields his brother from her scrutiny.

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