The short story, “A Perfect Day for Bananfish” written by Jerome Salinger in 1948, is based on the idea of how people change through war. The main character, Seymour, has just gotten out of the military and is on vacation with his wife in Florida. Through his wife’s conversations, it is made apparent that Seymour has developed mental issues since returning home and these issues are shown through Seymour’s longing for isolation throughout the story. The unusual part of this fictional tale is the fact that many aspects of Seymour’s life reflect the authors. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” does not just inform the audience of the severity of an unknown mental illness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, but it almost acts as Salinger’s way to express his true emotion about life.
PTSD is a mental illness that affects many men and women leaving war. It usually occurs in someone who has experienced a shocking, scary or dangerous event; i.e. war. Most of the time PTSD is a recurring illness that involves having bad dreams, flashbacks, and cognitive and mood symptoms. This mental illness can have serious effect on ones’ personality for the rest of their life. People who suffer from PTSD typically have negative thoughts about the world around them and have a loss of interest in the enjoyable activities. Currently there are many treatments for PTSD like medications and psychotherapy. Treatment for PTSD differs depending on the person and the severity of their illness (NIMH).