A Perfect Day for Bananafish

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A Perfect Day for Bananafish

Picture walking into a hotel room and finding a man dead on a bed. Upon closer inspection it becomes obvious that he has supposedly taken his own life with the gun that lay beside him. In talking to his wife who was asleep on the bed next to him when this incident occurred, it is learned that he just walked in the door and shot himself late the previous night. Out of the many questions that could be asked from this story, I believe that it is probably extremely important to consider why the main character, Seymour Glass, decided to commit suicide.

What I believe to be the reason for Seymour’s suicide has two basic components: the spiritual depravity of the world around him, and his struggle with his own spiritual shortcomings. The spiritual problem of the outside world is mostly a matter of material greed, especially in the west, and materialism. On the other hand, his own spiritual problem is more a matter of intellectual greed and true spiritualism.

In addressing the suicide, the difference should be distinguished between the "See More Glass" that we see through little Sybil’s eyes, and the Seymour Glass that we see through the eyes of the adult world. Even though these two characters are in theory the same man, they are slightly different in some ways. You could also say that they are the same character in different stages of development. Whatever the case may be, the "reasons" for the suicide shift slightly in emphasis as the character changes.

"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" attempts to symbolize that the bananas in

See More Glass’s story represent all of the things which are taken in along the journey to adulthood. If pursued with too much zeal, these bananas can prevent spiritual development and lead to a greater materialistic development. See-More has realized that he cannot get rid of enough bananas to make any further spiritual progress in this life, so, rather than waste time, he commits suicide. This is slightly obvious when he is taking the elevator back

up to his room on the night of the suicide. His fixation upon his feet, which do not resemble the childlike feet that he desires to have, and the woman in the elevator’s scorn towards Seymour’s accusing her of staring at his feet, drive him to dislike the adult world even more.
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