Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Karem, F. Jeff

Subject Headings

Salinger, J. D. (Jerome David), 1919- Glass family -- Fiction, Psychoanalysis and literature, Psychoanalysis, J.D. Salinger, Glass


This thesis examines J.D. Salinger's Glass family dynamics through the application of psychoanalysis. Salinger told stories of the Glass family through various short story installments, such as Franny & Zooey, Nine Stories, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An introduction and other installments not found in collections. Through reviewing these works as well as various criticisms, it became evident that Seymour's influence was far more profound than originally anticipated. J.D. Salinger created Seymour with the idea of an individual who possesses spiritual omnipotence. Seymour took it upon himself to educate his siblings at young ages in order to teach them about the world and what should be valued. The siblings did not escape unscathed although blessed to have received such an innovative education, it ultimately also caused them the inability to assimilate into society. Seymour's influence continued on as well when he committed suicide. Since Seymour was already the causation of various issues that his siblings possessed, his suicide provided no relief from their struggles. This thesis concludes by arguing that Seymour's influence was not only eternal, but also scarring. Seymour's death invoked suffering at a new level, thereby causing and at times enhancing post traumatic stress. It is obvious that Seymour was the most important Glass sibling, but could not be fully understood until his siblings were examined as well. Through the examination of the seven Glass siblings, it became obvious that they did in fact suffer from post traumatic stress as seen through their inability to assimilate into society, repressing memories and ideas, and various attempts at escape, all brought on by Seymour