Bananafish Analysis

Decent Essays
The Innocence Of Children
Untainted from the world’s horrors, children are used to counter the lives of adults in J. D. Salinger’s “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor” and “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”. While “For Esmé” and “Bananafish” share distinct differences, Salinger explores the effect of children on war-inflicted soldiers in both. “For Esmé” recounts a soldier’s encounter with a young girl named Esmé days before D-Day and the cost of the subsequent victory on his wellbeing. “Bananafish” delves into the mental hardships of a veteran following his return to society and his interactions with a girl named Sybil. Salinger uses the innocence of youth as a form of reprieve and escape from the horrors of war for both Seymour and X.
In “For
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He then leaves the church “before the coach’s dissonant speaking voice could entirely break the spell the children’s singing had cast”(Salinger, 90). X was entranced by the children in the choir and sought to leave before the effect was ruined by the interference of an adult. Later on, X spends his time in a tearoom before being joined by Esmé, a girl from the church choir. Despite being only thirteen years old, Esmé is described as mature, well-mannered and bright. She offers X a taste of normalcy with a conversation about her future aspirations before recounting her experience with other American soldiers. This is another case in which children helped relieve his worries as Esmé reveals that she came over to X because he looked lonely. X replies that he had been and that he “was very glad she’d come over”(95). Charles, Esmé’s five-year-old younger brother, joins them to tell Esmé to go back to their own table at their governesses’ insistence. This is another instance of an adult attempting to disrupt X’s efforts to briefly escape from the…show more content…
Shortly after Sybil approaches Seymour, he compliments her bathing suit saying, “if there’s one thing I like, it’s a blue bathing suit”(12); Sybil quickly corrects him by saying that it was yellow. Blue is oftentimes associated with innocence and honesty which is possibly what Seymour envisions Sybil to be. It is revealed that Seymour rarely interacts with adults aside from Muriel and that he enjoys spending his time with children. Seymour enjoys the company of Sharon Lipschutz, a three-year-old girl because “she’s never mean or unkind”(15). This would mean that Seymour enjoys spending time with children rather than adults due to their untainted
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