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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

Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I might add, not quite parenthetically, that he was by far the least prolific letter writer in the family. I don't think I've had five letters from him in my life. ("Seymour" 1.3)

It's interesting that Seymour's self-isolation manifests itself this way – as someone who, in a family is writers, is surprisingly silent. This is fitting in a story that deals with written communication.

Quote #2

To make things still more provocative, as I was wandering around in the garment district trying to find an empty cab, a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps, whom I'd apparently overlooked saluting, crossing Seventh Avenue, suddenly took out a fountain pen and wrote down my name, serial number, and address while a number of civilians looked interestedly on. ("Roof Beam" 2.7)

This sets us up for the later tension between Buddy and the Matron of Honor's husband, who, as a lieutenant, outranks him. Part of the intense discomfort of the backseat setting lies in this tension.

Quote #3

In automatic deference to his rank, I very nearly chuckled right along with him - a short, inane, stranger's and draftee's chuckle that would clearly signify that I was with him and everyone else in the car, against no one. ("Roof Beam" 2.26)

Buddy's isolation is made painfully evident by he lengths to which he goes to placate the others – even those (like the Matron of Honor) who are stuck in the car with him.

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