The story whose film adaptation is (at least nominally) the reason that there are no other films of Salinger works. The second of the Glass family stories, in this case with Walt Glass who appears only in recollection. Told almost entirely through dialog, it’s a good example of telling a story through indirection and omission. Again, Salinger shows a great knack for the excellent turn of phrase: “[They] were talking in the manner peculiar, probably limited, to former college roommates.”
Where the story felt awkward to me is in the inherent sexism of the situation. Not merely in that the female characters were tied into the roles dictated by 1950s American society, but that Salinger’s imagination cannot really have them push very hard against those limitations. Eloise’s life exists only through her relationships with her husband Lew and the haunting specter of Walt Glass who has Eloise metaphorically sleeping to one side of her bed just as her daughter left room for her imaginary friend.
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