In one way or the other, our words define who we are. Likewise, characters in a piece of writing are defined by what they speak both through monologues or dialogues. The same argument can be used to explain how the nature of Ginnie in “Just Before War With the Eskimos” is revealed through her wordings. The first encounter with Ginnie in her conversation with Selena out rightly shows her intolerance. Even as Selena tried to thank her for “saving her life” Ginnie rudely cuts her short in order to explain his point, and through her wordings, Ginnie is apparently not ready to tolerate Selena and her gratitude. On the other positive side, the same dialogue also brings out an honest personality in Ginnie. Ginnie being a lady did not hesitate to hide a thing from her. She hit the nail right on the head by letting Selena know that she was fed up with “getting stuck for the whole cab fare.” Ginnie poured her heart out in a way many women would find somehow difficult.
Furthermore, Ginnie might be polite but also hot-tempered. In the course of the conversation, and as the argument went off course, the author reveals that Ginnie felt like she would kill Selena. Moreover, Ginnie flared up so fast after initiating the argument, even before Selena got what the whole point was all about until Selena had to try calming her down at some point. Also to his several ‘colors’, Ginnie is also a type of person that pays attention to details. When Selena proposed to give her thirty-five cents, she vehemently opposed indicating that she has always kept track of all the cash Selena owed her totaling to a dollar sixty-five cents. Finally, Ginnie is very impatient. She could not wait until Monday for Selena to get her the full amount; instead, she asserted that she would be going to the movies that night. As such, she was indirectly indicating to Selena that she needed the cash instantly. In this regard, it is very agreeable that one’s character can be solely defined by what they say.
Salinger, J. “Just Before War With the Eskimos” in the Nine Stories.