Study Guide

Jean's Mother in De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period

By J.D. Salinger

Jean's Mother

Jean's mother, like Sister Irma, is absent from the main story. But, her death in 1938 precipitates both Jean's move back to New York City (away from his beloved Paris), as well as his loneliness and isolation. Jean's realization that he and stepfather Bobby are "both in love with the same deceased woman" that spurs him to embark on his Montreal adventure (5). "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period" suggests that while Jean will never completely stop grieving for his mother, he learns at the end that he can love and miss his mother, and enjoy his own life at the same time.