The Laughing Man Analysis

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The Laughing Man is a short story by J.D. Salinger, first published in The New Yorker 1949, and later in the short story collection Nine Stories. It is set in Manhattan, New York City. The narrator is a man looking back on his childhood in 1929, when he is a member of a sports club named the Comanches. One of the main characters is John Gedsudski, also called the Chief. He is a law student who drives the boys in a school bus to Central Park. On their way back and forth, the Chief tells the Comanches a tale about “The Laughing Man”. There is much to endure in the story, kidnaping, violence and mystery. This makes the Comanche’s strongly affected. It is “a story that tended to sprawl all over the place, and yet it remained essentially portable” (TLM, X). When the Chief tells about the Laughing Man, he uses the first person. Does he talk about himself when he tells the story? This essay will characterize the Chief and how he relates to the Laughing Man. The Chief is an intelligent man, he is a law student at N.Y.U and an Eagle Scout, the highest achievement in the Boy Scouting program of the BSA. He is described as an “extremely shy” (TLM, X) and “gentle” (TLM, X). When some of the Comanches gets lost in the vast city, the Chief always finds them. He cares and treats them with dignity, in return, he earns their respect. Each one of them loves him, all in all he is a “very memorable person” (TLM, X). The Chief has a talent for storytelling, he “demonstrated, rather than
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