Comparison of Child Characters in Salinger's 'Teddy' and 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'

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In J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories there are many tales centered on children, who are often depicted as a symbol of hope and connected with the values that stand in contrast to the ones typical of the adults corrupted by materialism. In my essay, I would like to concentrate on the portrayal of children in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “Teddy”. Even though the way these characters are depicted is similar, a child protagonist in each of the stories is representative of different things. While Sibyl can be seen as a prototype of a childlike innocence, purity and simplicity, Teddy can hardly be considered a prototypical innocent child. Despite the simplicity of Sibyl’s thinking, her presence and behavior help the reader draw many complex …show more content…

The one trait of personality that Teddy and Sibyl share is the kindness. The kindness is evidence in both, Sibyl’s treatment of Seymour and Teddy’s behavior. When Teddy 's sister tells the young boy that he “is the stupidest person [she] ever met” (176), Teddy kindly defends and reassures the young boy. In his journal it is discovered that all Teddy writes about are small kind acts that he wishes to do for other people: he wants to find and wear his father’s dog tags because he thinks it will “please him;” he wants to write a condolence letter to someone who is ill, and he wishes to be “nicer to [the] librarian” (180-1). Sybil’s presence and behavior leads one to many conclusions about the main adult in the story, Seymour Glass. Seymour’s motives and values are clearly and concisely revealed through interaction with Sybil. Again, the color blue is used to show innocence. When Seymour takes off his robe to go in the water, it is discovered that “his shoulders were white and narrow, and his trunks were royal blue” (Saliger 13). Even by his name (Seymour – see more), it is suggested that he is much closer to the nature of a child than to the materialistic adult world, he sees in life much more than they do. In addition to the royal blue swim

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