The Laughing Man by J.D Salinger

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'The Laughing Man' By J.D. Salinger

I. Introduction

Context and Environment

The Laughing Man is one of the J.D. Salingers stories which was published in The New Yorker on March 19, 1949 , and its included in his book called Nine Stories, his second book(Salinger, Jerome David 1953).Nine Stories was the collection that introduced and killed Seymour Glass-the brooding figure that gave rise to the Glass family dynasty, the fictional subject that held Salinger's attention until he stopped publishing in 1965. It was with this book that Salinger's art and life intersected best, where his Zen interests coalesced with his emerging themes, where he gave new life to the American short story.The stories dealt with genius, spiritual integrity, moral corruption, and the occasional ability of innocence to transform our lives. If there was social angst over the morality of America's youth then Salinger couldn't have disagreed more-seven of the nine stories feature children, all of whom stand on higher moral ground than their adult guardians. ( Smith, Dominic 639-640)

34 years has passed in Salinger's life by the time Nine stories came out, and he was already popular because of his previous novel The Catcher In The Rye(Salinger, Jerome David 1951)

Idea and Structure of the Story

The Laughing Man can be very roughly said to have the pleasure of hearing boy-hood stories involving Chinese bandits and emerald vaults. The story is made up of 3 major characters. First of them,Narrator's name is not known, He belongs to a organization called Comanches. He is nine years old when the story is told.There is another key character ,besides the narrator, ''the Chief was John Gedsudski, of Staten Island. He was an extremely shy, gentle young man of twenty-two or -three, a law student at N.Y.U., and altogether a very memorable person.'' and ''he was a stocky five three or four--no more than that. His hair was blue-black, his...
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