The short story provides numerous themes through its scripts. There is a theme of loss, disillusion, youth, theme of insecurity, the theme of love, and theme of escape. The story comes from the Nine Stories collection that is subject to narrate basing on the third person. The narrator is unnamed and upon reading the story for the first time, the reader can realize that Salinger may entirely be exploring the theme of escape.
The situation of which Eloise is spending most of the time drinking through the entire story while preferring not to avoid dealing with realities of life in an indication of escape theme. There is also another possibility that Eloise may opt at spending every day drinking because Singer does not make to the reader any suggestion about Eloise doing anything in her life the entire day.
In “Connecticut”, it is also noticeable for the reader that Ramona is having two imagery friends. These are Jimmy and Mickey. The reader is thus able to sense that Ramona’s escape into a world full of the imaginary friends results from the lack of love that she receives from her mother. In the entire story, Eloise is also showing very little affection or willingness to understand her daughter. This happens even though Eloise appears to be showing her daughter little compassion towards the end of story.
It is also interesting to learn that sense of loss that Eloise and Ramona feel could be the one triggering their escape. Ramona may develop a feeling of hurt because of the lack of love that she receives from her mother. Similarly, Eloise appears to be escaping through the act of drinking, all of which results from the death of Walt and the unhappy marriage that she had.
There is enough evidence to indicate that Salinger is also exploring the theme of youth in this short story. The act of Eloise spending most of her time talking to Mary Jane helps in bringing out this theme. Eloise and Mary Jane are talking about the people that they knew when they were still young and in college, or also talking about Walt. Through such conversations, there is no doubt that Eloise time in college or the time she spent with Walt was a period that she experienced easier life and full of happiness.
Despite getting married and giving birth to a child, it is also evident to the reader to learn that Eloise did not find happiness or love in either being a mother or in being a wife. The theme of youth is also evident in the manner that Eloise is unwilling to let go of her past, hence subjecting her to drink alcohol on the daily basis as a possible strategy of forgetting how miserable she is. Talking with Mary Jane about her college time is also an indication that Eloise is trying to escape from her present life. Therefore, the reader becomes aware that Eloise is entirely disillusioned through her life, be it as a wife or as a mother.
Analysis of the short story also indicates the existence of symbolism in the story. The first symbol presents itself through the rug that Mary Jane is spilling her drinks on. Eloise is subject to quote telling Mary Jane “Leave it. Leave it. I hate this damn rug anyway.” The introduction of the rug and the manner that Eloise shows dislike to the same rug may be a symbol suggesting how Eloise dislikes her life. The pillows in the room could be another act of symbolism.
Eloise if again subject to quote telling Mary Jane “There isn’t one damn pillow in this house that I can stand” (Salinger 09). Again, Singer through this quote may be explaining to the reader, at least symbolically, that Eloise has no comfort in her life. In order to avoid dealing with life realities, Eloise spends most part of her time escaping these realities.
Another incidence whereby Ramona is suffering from myopia may also serve as an act of symbolism that the author uses in suggesting the lack of affection that Eloise shows to her daughter. Through symbolism, there is a possibility that Eloise does not see whatever that she is doing to her daughter by being cold on her. Eloise was also wearing a Joyce Morrow’s blue cardigan while on the train with Walt. It could also be a sign of symbolism in that blue color is normally subject to associate to innocence or purity in literature. Therefore, Salinger in this literary work might be suggesting that the days Eloise and Walt spent together were the days of innocence and simplicity to Eloise’s life.
There is also an aspect of highlighting the difficulties resulting from war through forms of symbolism. Eloise was subject to throw out of college due to her bad behaviors in school. Her expulsion from college was because she was subject to find in a compromising situation with a soldier in an elevator.
Additionally, Mary Jane’s ex-husband, also a soldier, did spend time in prison following the charges of stabbing an MP. Introducing these men, followed by associating them with some forms of troubles explains how the author is suggesting that war brings about difficulties, which is symbolized by soldiers. Even though Eloise and Mary Jane were not fighting in the war, they similarly incurred their levels of difficulty. The most obvious example presented in the story about difficulty incurred is the fact of Eloise losing Walt during a war.
The end part of the story also has significance, as moments of realization emerge, particularly applying to Eloise. In the incident where Eloise was angry with Ramona and pulling her to the bed’s center, upon seeing Ramona’s glasses, Eloise is subject to see holding these glasses to her cheek. At this time, she recalls what Walt had told her upon the incident that saw her fall when running for the bus ‘Poor Uncle Wiggily.’ The experience of having this memory made Eloise appear as a changed person. The act is the first part of the story where Eloise seems to be showing affection towards Ramona, where she went ahead to tuck in Ramona’s bedclothes and even kissed her. This is enough evidence that there is a portrayal of affection.
Also, the scene where Eloise if going downstairs to wake up Mary Jane may also be pointing out to the theme of insecurity. Therefore, Salinger is suggesting that there is a possibility at the end of the story that Eloise could change her life and become a better person. After all, there is always a chance for changes in terms of personal character and attitude toward other people.
Salinger, J. D. Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut. The New Yorker. 1948. Print.