A Perfect Day For Bananafish Essay

Decent Essays
Jerome David Salinger was a world-renowned American author, mostly known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951). His first major success, however, was the short story ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’, first published in a 1948 issue of The New Yorker magazine. It was later published as a part of the short story collection Nine Stories (1953) among eight more stories, one of which is called ‘For Esmé—with Love and Squalor’ (1950). Both of the works include characters who are apparently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, a mental illness perhaps Salinger himself was a victim of.
Salinger wrote several books and stories and his writing style is unique—using swear and slang words not only in dialogues but also as a part of the narrative, and depicting character actions and their environments in detail in order to make them seem
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Additionally, he later tells her a story of ‘bananafish’ which eat so many bananas that they cannot leave their ‘banana holes’ and die. This discussion reveals that he is antipathetic of the consumer society they live in. Similarly, Sergeant X refuses to wear an Eisenhower jacket and to listen to ‘Bob Hope’ show on the radio—also implying that he refuses hope for a better life—which are a product of the careless and shallow American society which is often ignorant of the distress happening in the rest of the world.
Dealing with the physical side of post-traumatic stress disorder, at the beginning of ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ Salinger mentions that the protagonist is pale and does not want people looking at his tattoo. Later in the story, Seymour loses control of himself when a woman glances at his feet, with him saying suggesting that his appearance changed during the war and he cannot bear people noticing
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