Mental Effects of War in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger Essay

Mental Effects of War in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger Essay

Length: 1372 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Smoke rises up from the charred ground as the sounds of guns and screams die out, leaving behind bloody bodies and a chilling silence. War is a horrifying event that leaves soldiers with troubling memories that haunt them for the rest of their lives. Along with other soldiers, J.D. Salinger lived his life with painful memories of war. Mental problems that developed from these terrible experiences were rarely treated; those who were hospitalized and “cured” still had lingering mental issues. After World War II, America did not focus on the mental health of soldiers. So, Salinger decided to bring awareness to the issue through entertaining and realistic short stories. As a result of his traumatizing experience in World War II, J.D. Salinger set out to expose the mental effects of war through characters and symbolism in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”.
Even in his childhood, his involvement with both the military and literature was evident. Born on New Year’s Day in 1919, Salinger spent his childhood in New York. Although he was intelligent, he was not a good student and flunked out of McBurney School. Salinger was then sent off to Valley Forge Military Academy for the remainder of his high school years. At the military academy, he “became the literary editor of the school yearbook,” (McGrath). This was the beginning of his interest in writing. After graduating, Salinger attended many colleges but the one that was the most critical to his success as a writer was Columbia College in New York. There, he met Professor Whit Burnett, the editor of Story Magazine. Burnett published some of Salinger’s early short stories. Soon, Salinger even had some stories appear in well-known magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post (“J.D. Salinger B...


... middle of paper ...


...s that affected him for the rest of his life. Since few understood how damaged returning soldiers were, Salinger exposed the truth to the public through accessible and intriguing short stories. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” was a meaningful story that depicted the consequences of post-war trauma.



Works Cited
“J.D. Salinger Biography.” The Biography Channel Website. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Wed. 16 Mar. 2014.
“J.D. Salinger and PTSD.” Stand for the Troops. Stand for the Troops News and Blog, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
McGrath, Charles. “J.D. Salinger, Literary Recluse, Dies at 91.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 28 Jan. 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
Salinger, J.D. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Nine Stories. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1991. 3-18. Print.
“World War II (1939-1945).” SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Effects of War Essay

- Death by the millions. War; caused by the petty disagreements of those in power; fought by the brave young men that had no other choice. No one truly wins a war; it does not decipher who is right, only whom is left. The horrors of war are devastating; both mentally and physically. The horror is not only ever present during life on the Frontline, it lives on in the survivors guilt. I believe the horror of war is not only represented in the soldiers, we are all too quick to forget about the feelings of those at home, the friends and families, and the effects the war had on them....   [tags: power, disagreement, horrors, amputees]

Strong Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Themes Of ' A Perfect Day For Bananafish ' And ' Soldiers Home '

- Tyler McKee Dr. Andrew Pisano English 104-09 29 March, 2016 Themes of “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “Soldiers Home” Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger both had their respective pieces of literature published after a great war. Hemingway’s In Our Time is a collection of short stories that was published after World War I in 1925. “Soldiers Home” is one of the short stories that is within In Our Time. It is about a former Marine named Harold Krebs who has returned home from World War I. Krebs struggles with readjusting to everyday life and has become a shell of his former self....   [tags: World War II, World War I, J. D. Salinger]

Strong Essays
1372 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Commentary on J.D Salinger´s Story: A Perfect Day for Bananafish

- “Call me the instant he does, or says, anything at all funny--you know what I mean” (Salinger 1). This is a line from “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” one of the nine best selling stories written by J.D Salinger. It shows Muriel and her mother in a phone conversation, discussing Muriel’s apparant mentally ill husband.In this short story, the consequences of war is shown through the husband’s actions and feelings. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the many mental illnesses that the husband faces, and subsequently, leads to his death....   [tags: World War II, Disturbed]

Strong Essays
589 words (1.7 pages)

Buildup of Emotions and Lack of Communication: A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Sallinger

- The human mind, only able to withstand so much pressure before losing control, is like a volcano. The harsh truths that accumulate throughout the course of one’s life can lead to devastation, the eruption of the mind’s volcano. American twentieth century author, J.D. Salinger, illustrates the devastating consequences caused by a buildup of emotions and a lack of communication in his short story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Salinger “has become, in biographer Ian Hamilton's phrase, ‘famous for not wanting to be famous’ ” (Stevick)....   [tags: human mind, communication, materialism]

Strong Essays
1318 words (3.8 pages)

The War Within Themselves : Body Image Essay

- The War within Themselves: Body Image Dr. Carla Rice (2015) defines body images as “an individual’s experience in his/her body. It is the mental picture a person has of his/her body as well as the individual’s associated thoughts, feelings, judgements, sensations, awareness and behavior.” Many people today think an overweight, or obese, individual chose to do that to his or her body, when in turn, there could be a multitude of things or medical problems plaguing them. Society perpetuates the image of the “perfect body” as an unnaturally thin woman, or an overly muscular man....   [tags: Self-esteem, Adolescence, Social media, Obesity]

Strong Essays
1473 words (4.2 pages)

Animal Rights And Its Effects On Society Essay

- Animal Rights There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties.… The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.—Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809–1882) Through out the beginning of time, animals have been used for many purposes for food, fashion, entertainment, and experiments. However, the modern civilization we are living in today, we abuse this power we have over animals, exploiting them for unreasonable purposes....   [tags: Animal testing, Animal rights, Animal model]

Strong Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

Plastic Surgery And Its Effects On Society Essay

- In 1914, the world was at war. Thousands of soldiers were constantly rushed into hospitals. The new weapons such as the machine gun left them heavily wounded and in desperate need of surgery (History of Plastic Surgery 2,3). Even though the treatment provided was not as efficient as it is today, it saved a significant number of lives. Ever since then, the industry of plastic surgery has been on the rise. As this medical procedure improved with the advances made in the sciences and technology, it evolved to serve an additional goal....   [tags: Plastic surgery, Surgery, Breast implant]

Strong Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)

The Threats of an Over-Controlling Government: A Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451

- Today’s world is far from a utopia, or perfect world with no negative thoughts or feelings, but is that a good or a bad thing. Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451, show several similar effects of what may happen to the human race if the government over-controls the countries’ citizens. In Brave New World the controlling government, or the “World State,” uses brainwashing and chemical persuasion to make the people of the country believe and follow the value of the society....   [tags: World State, Mental Abuse]

Strong Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Effects of Racial Prejudice Essay

- Effects of Racial Prejudice The effects of racial prejudice and segregation aimed at African Americans in the south on their lives and opportunities were deep-seeded and long lasting. The effects of segregation were perhaps the most destructive because they were legal and above-board. These laws illustrated to the African American population that their struggle was not limited to battling the backward notions and violent actions of cowardly southern rednecks, but that they had to overcome the mentality and ideology of a national government and, in fact, an entire society, that was failing to recognize them as citizens worthy of the basic rights and freedoms to which they were entitled as...   [tags: Race Segregation African American Black]

Strong Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)

Analyzing the Significance of the Evolution of Aeronautics in World War One and Beyond

- ... If airmen had attempted to carry anything other than the crew on the planes, they would have carried the severe risk of negatively affecting the performance of the plane, which would result in detrimental effects on reconnaissance. However, as the war progressed, the idea of airplanes being utilized merely for reconnaissance purposes was deferred as a result of the rapid rate of growth in aeronautics. Soon, airplanes were being used to carry crews, weapons, and military supplies. Along with the advancement of airplanes came the advancement of strategical tactics used in order to prevent the primary purpose of airplanes during World War One: reconnaissance....   [tags: airplanes, military, emotions]

Strong Essays
821 words (2.3 pages)