Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental condition that affects many war veterans. It triggers their memories that bring back horrifying experiences that they’ve gone through in the war and usually results in panic attacks, violent behavior and self-harm. There are branches of symptoms, varying by the degree of their traumatizing memory. In the worst case, people diagnosed with PTSD end up dying much sooner than they should have.
Stated by Salinger himself in, Seymour: An Introduction, which Seymour “was not Seymour at all but... myself.” Salinger served in WWII where, after the experience, he was left traumatized by the sights that he saw in the Nazi concentration camps and from this, felt like he could no longer fit in with society after knowing the tragedies committed on those grounds by the very humans that he was surrounded by. Seymour reflects how Salinger felt after returning from the war, and mirrors the a...
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... in his luggage underneath all of his clothes. Perhaps he didn’t plan it to shoot himself at that exact time, perhaps he felt like it was the most appropriate time after his conversation with Sybil. Perhaps as James Finn Conner says, “he was no longer able to cope with the everyday world” that he sees through. To him, it is a world filled with greedy bananafish.
The complexity of Seymour’s character and personality resides in the experiences he went through while he was in the Army. Like Salinger himself, there were things that Seymour saw that left him feeling like society was something he could not partake in. His suicide was, as James Finn Cotter describes it, “He wanted the innocence that little kids have and wanted to break away from the fake happy surface that adults keep up which resulted in his suicide which is why he shows signs of depression and PTSD.
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