His name is Teddy , and we can sense early on that he is unnaturally bright and precocious. McArdle, a daytime radio serial actor, shouts. The mother, for her part, advises Teddy to stay exactly where he is — primarily to spite the father, it seems. While husband and wife bicker, Teddy spots a can of orange peels that has just been dumped into the ocean. Several of the peels are floating by. The father will have none of the chit-chat, and keeps demanding that Teddy get off his bag.
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In Teddy by J. Salinger we have the theme of dysfunction, acceptance, materialism and spirituality. Taken from his Nine Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader suspects that Salinger may be exploring the theme of dysfunction. What is also interesting about the story is the acceptance that Teddy has when it comes to dying. All you do is get the heck out of your body when you die.
It may be a case that rather than focusing or trying to repair their marriage both parents wish to instead change their children. Salinger also appears to be exploring the theme of materialism. Similarly when he discovers that Booper has his expensive Leica camera he tells Teddy to get it from her and bring it back to the room.
By mentioning these items in the story Salinger may be putting a spotlight on American society in general and suggesting that rather than personal enlightenment which Teddy appears to be attempting to achieve people at the time the story was written and possibly still today , were more concerned with material gain rather than with personal or spiritual development.
There is also some symbolism in the story which may be important. The orange peels that Teddy sees in the ocean may symbolise the Buddhist belief of impermanence. The large shuffleboard discs that Booper is playing with and which she hopes will impress Teddy may also be important as again Salinger could be symbolically suggesting the need of the individual or society to own or possess things.
It is also possible that Salinger is suggesting that Booper or society allows material objects to define them. Despite the passing of time since the story was written the ending of the story remains controversial mostly because the reader never knows for certain as to what happens Teddy. Some critics suggest that Booper pushes Teddy into the swimming pool, which results in Teddy being killed, while other critics suggest it is Teddy who pushes Booper into the pool, killing her.
Though the reader cannot say for certain what happens, Salinger does appear to be using some foreshadowing in the story to suggest that it is Booper who pushes Teddy into the pool and kills him.
What that something may be is a little clearer though not definite when Teddy tells Nicholson that Booper could, when Teddy goes down to the pool, push him into the empty swimming pool resulting in Teddy fracturing his skull and dying instantaneously. Though again the reader cannot say for certain if this is what actually happens. Hello, could you point out what is the conflict in this story. I think every one has to be it. But I did not find it.
The Sitting Bee, 25 Mar. Share Post: Facebook Twitter Print. Nine Stories. Dermot Post Author January 9, am. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
Nine Stories Summary and Analysis of "Teddy"
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Teddy by J.D. Salinger
Salinger , completed on November 22, , and originally published in the January 31, , issue of The New Yorker. Salinger wrote "Teddy" while he was arranging publication for a number of his short stories and crafted the story to balance and contrast the collections' intended opening work " A Perfect Day for Bananafish ". In Salinger's novella, " Seymour: An Introduction ", a meditation written by a member of the fictional Glass family, Buddy Glass about his brother, Seymour , Buddy claims authorship to "Teddy" as well as other pieces in Nine Stories. The story comprises several vignettes which take place aboard a luxury liner.
Reader’s Guide – “Teddy”
Teddy's Story Home Biography of J. It started off in Teddy McArdle's cabin with both of his parents. McArdle, Teddy's father was annoyed with Teddy because Teddy was standing on his bag to look out the window. Then, Mrs. McArdle worriedly asked where Booper, Teddy's sister, was. Teddy explained that she was fine and she had the families camera.