Characters in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger Essay

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Characters in A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger The characters in Salinger?s ?A Perfect Day for Bananafish? seem to exist in opposite worlds. On one hand, Salinger creates Muriel to represent materialism and superficiality and on the other hand, he creates Sybil to provide justification of the child-like innocence rarely found in society. Salinger?s main character, Seymour, is aware of the superficiality expressed in Muriel?s world and chooses not to be apart of it. Seymour wants to be a part of the simple immaterial world that Sybil represents. Nevertheless, Seymour find himself trapped between two worlds unable to regain the one he desires. Therefore, Salinger bases ?A Perfect Day for Bananafish? on Seymour?s…show more content…
For instance, when referring to how many tigers ran around the tree Sybil commented ?Only six!?(14), similarly when asked how many bananas the banana fish were eating she exclaimed ?Six!?(16). Firstly, Sybil?s use of the number ?six? suggests that she is repeating the phase phrase six figure but in a simplified manner. Secondly, Sybil?s reference to the phrase six figure depicts her mothers monopolizing influence on her. For instance, the bathing suit purchased by Sybil?s mother, is composed of adult colors rather than the youthful ?blue? that Seymour expects to see. A similar idea is expressed by Sybil?s mother when spreading suntan ?oil? on Sybil?s back in a downwards motion. If yellow is then a adult color and symbolizes materialism, and ?downwards motion? symbolizes oppression then Sybil?s mothers behavior may suggest that she is discouraging her daughter?s naive behavior and attempting to force her to grow up prematurely. Sybil is most likely unaware of her mother?s influence on her child-like manner and therefore she will never fully appreciate her present youth until it is lost. In contrast, Seymour is revived by Sybil?s innocence and near the end of the story ?The young man suddenly picked up one of Sybil?s wet feet, which were drooping over the end of the float, and kissed the arch?(17). In essence, Seymour was thanking her for verifying to him that life can still be so simple. Seymour knows that if he was not
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