Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut

1796 Words Nov 18th, 2010 8 Pages
Love, Death, and War in J.D Salinger’s

“Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”

J.D Salinger was best known for his portrayal of isolationism and the loss of innocence in his literary works. Like many Modern artists of the 1950’s, such as his good friend Ernest Hemmingway, Salinger was highly interested in reflection of the individual as well as the disconnectedness between adults and children (Calloway 3). In his short story, “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”, Salinger uses the themes of love, death, and the war to reflect the emotional detachment between Eloise and her own life, as well as her relationships with her husband and daughter.

Eloise and her college roommate, Mary Jane are introduced to the reader at
…show more content…
Again, Eloise slides the attention back to alcohol, insisting she refill Mary Jane’s glass and that she stay longer. As the story progresses, we are finally introduced to Eloise’s past love history. She abandons her critical nature and attitude when describing the man of her past, who made her laugh. “"He could do it when he talked to me. He could do it over the phone. He could even do it in a letter. And the best thing about it was that he didn't even try to be funny--he just was funny" (Salinger). The language she uses gives the reader the image of her lying on her couch as she reminisces about her past experiences with him. Salinger invites us into her emotional memory bank, and constructs the dialogue within this very scene in such a way that places Eloise mentally by herself remembering things that once made her happy, and making everything at that moment obsolete, in the same way a lover might recall their past love experiences (Smith 648). It is at this very point within the plot that we become aware of not only her relationship with this other past man, but also where the name “Uncle Wiggily” was derived from. This name is of significance to her. However, her train of thought is interrupted by Mary Jane reminding Eloise of the current martial situation she’s in now, “‘Doesn’t Lew have a sense of humor’ Mary Jane said” (Salinger). Her response to the questions of her husband does not run as deep as the memories she has with the other man. Quickly,

More about Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut