Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction
by J.D. Salinger
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Story.Section.Paragraph)
[The Matron of Honor]: "I'd die, in fact, before I'd let an child of mine turn themselves into a little exhibitionist before the public. It warps their whole entire lives. The publicity and all, if nothing else – ask any psychiatrist. I mean, how can you have any kind of normal childhood or anything?" ("Roof Beam" 3.14)
This is one of the issues raised in Salinger's Franny and Zooey, two stories about the youngest Glass family children. Zooey feels as though he's been deprived of a shot at a normal life – but interestingly, it has more to do with his over-education (at Seymour and Buddy's hands) than with his time on the radio. He does make the point, however, that he never really "got off the air," so to speak.
I read and reread the quotation, and then I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and opened Seymour's diary. ("Roof Beam" 3.28)
It's also fitting that Seymour communicates only through the written word – his diary in "Roof Beam" and his poetry in "Seymour."
I am a liar, of course. Charlotte never did understand why Seymour threw that stone at her. ("Roof Beam" 5.2)
We are led to believe that the Glass family all understood why Seymour threw the stone, yet Charlotte never did. The idea that the Glass family is too insular to be understood by an outsider is an issue raised in the other Glass family novel, Franny and Zooey.