At first glance, J.D. Salinger's short story 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' is the story of a psychically-torn war veteran whose post-traumatic stress moves him to take his own life while on a second honeymoon with his wife. Indeed, that is the story, but that first glance does not reveal the inner motives and symbolic pathways Seymour Glass takes to reach the final decision to end his life. The carefully placed details and minute innuendoes are deliberate on Salinger's part, and they represent pieces of the puzzle to find out what is really happening in the protagonist's head. Indeed, 'A Perfect Day' is just one part of the Glass family saga, and Seymour's character and family become even more detailed throughout the other pieces in Salinger's Nine Stories. Regardless, even in this isolated story there are enough hints to flesh his character out from a mere psychotic war veteran into a tragically depicted human bananafish.
An analysis of the short story really has to begin with an analysis of its central character, Seymour Glass, or as Sybil innocently styles him, ?See More Glass.? I have two theories about the significance of Seymour?s name, and they hinge largely on the placement of the quotation marks in Sybil?s version of his name. If we decide that the name should be divided into ?See More? Glass - since his family name is Glass and it could be argued that the word is not significant to every member of the family in the same symbolic way as Seymour - I think the interpretation is very simple. Seymour is a mystical creature, spiritually broken in the war yet still intimately in touch with the metaphorical side of life. Therefore, Seymour merely sees...
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...ymour suggested that Muriel?s grandmother kill herself rather than pass away peacefully: ?Those horrible things he said to Granny about her plans for passing away.? These things weren?t horrible to him since he sees death as a release from the banana hole, but Muriel?s family doesn?t see it like that because it also means a release from the material pleasures they have come to treasure. Before Seymour pulls the trigger to end his own gluttonous suffering he glances over at Muriel lying on the bed, but he no longer sees her as Muriel. In the last paragraph she is referred to twice as ?the girl,? a sign that Seymour has disassociated himself with the world of bananas and is ready to release his soul from bondage. To Seymour it was a perfect day for bananafish, a perfect day to indulge in the pleasures of wealth and idolatry, but for him it was a perfect day to escape.
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- Seymour Glass is a war veteran on vacation with his wife Muriel. He seems to suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome because of the war. He recently has tried to commit suicide twice. Once by driving his father-in-law's car into a tree and again by trying to jump out a window. J.D. Salinger's story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," seems to be a simple story about a couple on vacation in Florida and his encounter with a child named Sybil on the beach. Seymour's relationship with Sybil after further examination allows one to see that what really is taking place is Seymour's search for truth and innocence in the world.... [tags: Salinger A Perfect Day for Bananafish]
1470 words (4.2 pages)
- Born on January 1, 1919, Jerome David Salinger was to become one of America’s greatest contemporary authors. In 1938 Salinger briefly attended Ursinus College in Pennsylvania where he wrote a column, "Skipped Diploma," which featured movie reviews for his college newspaper. Salinger made his writing debut when he published his first short story, "The Young Folks," in Whit Burnett’s Story magazine (French, xiii). He was paid only twenty-five dollars. In 1939, at the age of 20, Salinger had not acquired any readers.... [tags: essays research papers]
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- Characters in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger The characters in Salinger?s ?A Perfect Day for Bananafish. seem to exist in opposite worlds. On one hand, Salinger creates Muriel to represent materialism and superficiality and on the other hand, he creates Sybil to provide justification of the child-like innocence rarely found in society. Salinger?s main character, Seymour, is aware of the superficiality expressed in Muriel?s world and chooses not to be apart of it. Seymour wants to be a part of the simple immaterial world that Sybil represents.... [tags: 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.... [tags: Perfect Day Bananafish]
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- As Irving Howe once observed, “The knowledge that makes us cherish innocence makes innocence unattainable.” In a dynamic society, innocence evades even the youngest members of our world; it evades even the nonexistent members of our world. J.D. Salinger explores this elusive innocence in his short story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish." Distinct similarities appear between the main character, Seymour Glass, and Salinger including the World War II experience and attraction for younger, more innocent people (Salerno).... [tags: mulier glass, sybil]
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- A Perfect Day For Bananafish By J.D. Salinger A Perfect Day For Bananafish was written in 1948 by the American writer Jerome David Salinger. This was just three years after the ending of World War II, where Salinger was stationed in Berlin, Germany. From further analysis of the short-story I have come to the conclusion that Seymour is Salinger’s role model. Seymour has just returned from World War II, as well as Salinger had when he wrote the story. Seymour returns to his native country very confused, dysfunctional and with some psychic issues.... [tags: essays research papers]
584 words (1.7 pages)
- 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.... [tags: war, soldiers, suicide]
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