A Perfect Day For Bananafish Essay

A Perfect Day For Bananafish Essay

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Mental illness, a wide range of conditions that affect one’s mood, thoughts and behavior. The amount of cases regarding mental illness has increased significantly throughout the 19th century. Much of this growth in mental illness cases are attributed to individuals partaking in warfare and on the other end of the spectrum, trying to fit into society’s pre-established images of what it means to be the ideal breadwinner for the family or housewife. In Jerome Salinger’s short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” Seymour is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition triggered by experiencing a terrifying event. While on vacation with his wife, Seymour decides to go down to the beach where he meets a young girl named Sybil. He decides to go into the water but before doing so he tells her that they should look for bananafish. According to Seymour, these fish look fairly normal, and can be found swimming into holes that contain bananas.The story behind these creatures is that they get so fat that they are unable to swim back out of the holes. Similarly, the narrator, in Charlotte Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper,” is going through a tough time as she is suffering from “nervous depression” (Gilman, 302). Being cooped up in the nursery of her own home gives her time to write short journal entries as to what she is experiencing when no one is around. She thinks by going outside and being active will help with the healing process, but her husband/doctor thinks otherwise. It is common for individuals suffering from a mental illness to go untreated. These two short stories provide examples from Seymour and the narrator, as to what really goes on inside the mind of someone who is living with some a mental disorder. They...


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...dual’s who know of anyone who may be suffering should also inform treatment centers. Social roles and images are no longer stressed upon as much as they were before, which leaves individual’s like Seymour and the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, space and time to get treated and then re-acclimated into society. The lesson that should be taken from reading about Seymour and the narrator is that, behind what may look like to be a normal individual, may be a mind that is suffering from a prior event. It is best to help those individuals and not to lock them behind closed doors or ignore what’s going on, because it could lead to unforgivable events, the worst being suicide. We may ignore the subject of mental illness because it is not accurate to our current situations but imagine if one of your family members was the one suffering, would you still ignore the problem?

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