Analysis Of J. D. Salinger's A Perfect Day For Bananafish

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A perfect Day For A Banafish If any single element creates impact in J. D. Salinger's “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” it is the author's setting of a tragedy within a framework of the absolutely ordinary. Seymour Glass and his wife, Muriel, never actually interacting in the story, are staying in a Florida hotel, and everything surrounding them evokes mid-20th century American values. This environment then underscores the greater reality, which is that neither husband or wife is capable of understanding the other, and Salinger's emphasis on dialogue, tone, and dark humor combine to make Seymour's suicide both shocking and, upon reflection, understandable. What primarily evolves is an utter lack of true understanding between the couple.…show more content…
There is an urgency even in his teasing of the little girl, as when he speculates as to what Muriel may be doing just then: “She may be in any one of a thousand places. At the hairdresser's. Having her hair dyed mink. Or making dolls for poor children, in her room” (Salinger 6). The answer to Sybil's question is clearly satiric, if not mocking, but more important is the underlying inability to understand how such trivial interests can have meaning for his wife. The dismissive answer also expresses his frustration, in that he seems to have long been lost as to Muriel's nature, he is weary of trying to comprehend it, and he would rather engage in surreal conversation with the little girl. The talk is remarkable in that Seymour uses Sybil to obliquely express his confusions and his visceral certainties about existence itself, which would certainly bore or annoy Muriel. When, for example, Sybil reveals jealousy over his attentions to another little girl, Seymour comforts her through his existential and surreal perception of life: “'I pretended she was you'” (Salinger 7). Sadly, Sybil ignores the kindness and this is then another instance of Seymour's being disregarded; Muriel, in other words, is as dismissive of his nature as a small

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