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

592 Words 3 Pages
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.
From the conversation between Muriel and her mother, we acknowledge that Seymour didn’t act normally after he has returned from the war. He destroyed “all those lovely pictures from Bermuda” for
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Muriel, Seymour’s wife, and her parents, are representing the kind of America the soldiers in World War II return to. They are unaware of what exactly has taken place and what kinds of unexplainable cruelties these soldiers have experienced. On top of that, Muriel and her mother seem very self-centered and extremely shallow, which doesn’t make it any better for Seymour to return to, even though they seem to show great concern for him and his kind of behavior. For example, we are being told about Muriel that “she was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty.”
Muriel’s mother is also extremely concerned for Muriel because now Seymour has some psychic problems, she sees him as some loony maniac. In spite of this, we know how Seymour behaves in the episode on the beach with Sybil, and Muriel’s beliefs about Seymour are therefore somehow not entirely correct, even though Seymour does act like one in the elevator on his way back to his hotel room.
To explain the tragic ending it’s important to know that Salinger, at the time he wrote the story, showed great interest in Zen attitudes. According to Zen attitudes suicide is not a failure, but a triumph, which