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The Eyes Can Be Deceived

In the short story of “Teddy,” it is true that eyes can be deceived. The truth presented was misrepresented. Teddy was a boy aged ten with stress, but people saw a calm child who was at peace with his surrounding and people around him. All the bitter stuff in his family emotionally affected Teddy that he felt he could not take anymore. The adults were too busy that they failed to understand a boy affected with situations around him. The boy felt unloved and unappreciated by his family. He felt so detached from other people. He was so frightened, but nobody was able to understand that because the child looked fine. His parent did not attend or observe him to know that he had a problem. They did not understand him since they thought he was speaking and acting like a child of his age. The child did things beyond him. They saw a child and never considered what the child thought or felt.

The adults never notice that the boy was desperately withdrawn. They failed to observe that he was also that the boy acted strangely by distancing himself from his parents and sister. He felt the urge to do that because he felt unloved and uncared for. He plans and records his death just as an adult contemplating suicide would do. Nicholson did not listen keenly or take the words of Teddy seriously when he talked about his death (Salinger, 2010).

 He did not even bother to know why the young boy said that and what he meant. The adult took Teddy as a child who did not know what he was saying. A child’s word is taken as a mare joke, but that should not have been in the case of Teddy. He was serious in what he said and meant it. He wanted to defend himself from a self-centered society. People saw Teddy as a little child who could not understand what was going on. Their eyes deceived them because the reasoning of Teddy was far beyond that of a child.

Teddy was not a child at all since he could understand so many things categorized as adult stuff. He felt that adults are stubborn people who are tolerant and irresponsible. To him they did not accept their faults to correct them and they were aggressive for nothing. Teddy was a victim of the children’s character of the perception that a child could not understand some issues that happen in the adult world like responsibility. The eyes of grownups were deceived and overlooked; Teddy needed acceptance and love. His actions were clear in the way he was withdrawn from other people a thing observable yet nobody noticed.

A child of Teddy’s age would not be so serious in noting down his actions in a notebook (Salinger, 2010). He was seriously concentration on what he had written in his notebook. People looked at him as a child and failed to understand he was up to something serious or dangerous. People feel that a child is not able to understand the pressures of life, therefore, never get stress. Nicholson found him seated alone yet he could not understand he was stressed up and lonely. The boy had written something down about his contemplated death. Nicholson had observed hid write, but never bothered to know what Teddy was writing. Teddy was struggling in life just like sixteen-year-old boy suffering in insecurities to grasp his personality that was unappreciated (Salinger,  1994).

It is true that people make a judgment based on what they see and not what they hear. A child of Teddy’s age would not make his argument about life and issued in life as he did. Nicholson question Teddy’s spirituality and his responses amused him. It was astonishing how the boy argued and presented his ideas. The boy’s love for God was unsentimental and that of his parent did not matter to him. He continues to say that he was a person progressing well spiritually, but not a holy man. This is an argument for a person far above his age. Teddy comments on how he stopped meditating after meeting a woman and fell from grace (Salinger, 2010). The boy clearly understood that spiritual matters are personal which a child of his age would not understand.

Additionally, the argument that death was not something major it was just parting with the body. He seemed not to be afraid of death like any other child. Teddy makes a statement about his sister pushing him to the pull and breaking his skull (Salinger, 2010). Nicholson does not understand that the statement was a prediction for his death and said it to instill guilt to the adults once it occurred. The intelligent boy also felt that his sister Booper hated him. He said that his sister would push him and he would die so that after committing suicide the sister would fear horrified and miserable. This makes him designs his death to instill guiltiness to everybody that surrounded him.

In conclusion, grownup should have concentrated Teddy and observed him closely. His intellectual and argument should have made them listen to him and would have seen a disaster that he had predicted. They should not have taken him as a child and thus, would have prevented his action. This is because as the story ends Teddy thrusts himself into the pool. It was evidenced by the screams of his little sister. He never died as evidenced by the empty pool.


Salinger, J. D. (2010). Nine Stories. New York: Back Bay Books.

Salinger, J. D. (1994). The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Penguin.J. D. Salinger
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