A Perfect Day for Bananafish

A Perfect Day for Bananafish

Length: 718 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


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.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Perfect Day for Bananafish." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=5642>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

A Perfect Day for Bananafish Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

Characters in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Suicide in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J. D. Salinger Essay

- A Perfect Day for Bananafish follows the events leading up to the eventual suicide of Seymour Glass. In the story, Seymour is described as a lost spirit who sees himself as being fundamentally different from his social environment following his wartime experience; he leaves the war “seeing-more” and as a result, awakens to find that he has lost touch with the material world. Salinger uses the story’s dialog as the medium for conveying Seymour’s struggle; he establishes the shallow nature of the environment Seymour is exposed to using the dialog between Muriel and her Mother while simultaneously giving clues about Seymour’s character from the perspectives of the two women in his life....   [tags: A Perfect Day for Bananafish]

Research Papers
2071 words (5.9 pages)

A Perfect Day For A Bananafish Essay

- This current cultural environment of materialism during the post-World War II period inspired J.D Salinger to pen the short story “A Perfect Day for a Bananafish.” It is a story that details the suicide of Seymour Glass. Salinger, in his story, critiques the materialist consumerism that arose after the second world war. The American society has not been severely impacted by the war in comparison to Europe. The country was also doing well finally, and the economic prosperity that arises during the war meant that a large number of the population has sufficient finances to make unnecessary purchases (Franssen, 158)....   [tags: World War II, World War I, Post-War, Short story]

Research Papers
1303 words (3.7 pages)

A Perfect Day for Bananafish Essay

- In the novel Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk remarks, “The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything.” Jerome David Salinger expanded on this idea through writing the short story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish". The literary genius was born on January 1, 1919 in New York City. He earned his education from public schools in the West Side of Manhattan and after moving, from McBurney School where he wrote for the school's newspaper and was manager of the fencing team....   [tags: Hemingway, materialism, Salinger]

Research Papers
1143 words (3.3 pages)

A Perfect Day For Bananafish Essay

- 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....   [tags: Mental disorder, Psychology, Mental health]

Research Papers
1407 words (4 pages)

A Perfect Day For Bananafish by J.D. Salinger Essay

- "I'll tell you what we'll do. We'll see if we can catch a bananafish" (Salinger 7). A bananafish is a fictional creature created in the mind of Seymour Glass, a character in J.D Salinger's "A Perfect Day For Bananafish." They are much like any other fish but they swim into holes where bananas grow, and eat so many bananas that they cannot escape. "A Perfect Day For Bananafish" was published in 1948 in the New York Magazine ("A Perfect Day For Bananafish"). The story is set on the sunny beaches of Florida, soon after WWII in 1948, expressed when Muriel, another character in this short story says, "He calls me Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948" (Salinger 4)....   [tags: seymour glass, communication]

Research Papers
1050 words (3 pages)

Searching for Innocence: A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1112 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on J.D. Salinger's A Perfect Day for Ortgies

- J.D. Salinger's A Perfect Day for Bananafish 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....   [tags: Salinger Perfect Day Bananafish Papers]

Research Papers
1870 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on A Perfect Day For Bananafish By J.D. Salinger

- 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]

Research Papers
584 words (1.7 pages)

Related Searches

  He is the bananafish who cannot escape the hole and achieve the spiritualism and childlike characteristics that he so desires.  In his opinion,  he believes that this suicide will give him the chance that he wants and needs: to start all over again.

            The anti-materialism of the story must also has to be considered in talking about the suicide. Salinger, perhaps still a little reluctant in 1948 to abandon his own anti-materialism that appears to me to be an early preoccupation of his, in favor of simple materialism and anti-spiritualism, leaves much of the former scattered throughout the story.  Seymour’s

 wife, Muriel’s name both looks and sounds like the word “material”.  This could possibly symbolize that she, like her mother, is shallow, fashion-conscious, and unwilling to learn German in order to read delicate, world-weary poets like Rilke.  Destroying Seymour even more is Sybil's reference to the greedy tigers in "Little Black Sambo" and her connection to Eliot's "Wasteland".  This suggests that even this youthful girl has begun to develop a problem with material fixation and spiritual neglect. These strains of anti-materialism in the story complicate the suicide because they suggest that Seymour is opting out of a world that is too materially inclined for him, instead of one in which he himself is responsible for his own unhappiness and spiritual depravity. Both sets of circumstances, Seymour’s own intellectual greed along with the general material greed by which he is sure, truly contribute to his suicide.

            The reasons for Seymour’s suicide are thus proven  to be muddled in "Bananafish," with several different factors coming into play.  The interpretation of Seymour obtained from the story is that he is troubled by his own spiritual shortcomings (the result of too much intellectual treasure) as much as by the shortcomings of the people and the world around him.  These factors ultimately lead to his suicide.
Return to 123HelpMe.com