Theme Of Materialism In A Perfect Day For Bananafish

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American Society’s Materialism in “A Perfect Day For Bananafish” J.D Salinger believes society turns each and every person into bananafish. In his short story A Perfect Day For Bananafish he expresses some of his views on the American society and the problems that he has with it. He believes Americans put too much value in material possessions and that their lives, shaped by a constant bombardment of advertisements and new products that are bigger and better than the last, are harmful to them, and the people around them. Salinger uses his short story A Perfect Day for Bananafish to represent the materialism and consumerism of American society.
Salinger sets the scene for materialism from the very beginning by dedicating the first and most important sentence of his short story to New York advertising men. The first sentence of a story is the hook and what makes people want to read further and figure out what happens so it is not spent lightly. Salinger uses his first sentence here to tell the reader that there are “..ninety seven New York advertising men in the hotel, and, the way they were monopolizing the long distance lines, the girl in 507 had to wait from noon till almost two thirty to get her call through.”(pg1). This is extremely important and says a lot about the purpose of the story and what it was written for. The fact that it was also placed right at the beginning of the story only adds to its significance. Ninety seven advertising men are staying in this resort hotel in Florida and are calling out long distance, presumably doing there job and still working. They value their job and the money and possessions it brings so much that they can't take the time to appreciate what they already have and enjoy their vacation.
Salinger goes on to talk about what Muriel did while waiting for her phone to ring and using it as an example of the effects society can have on a person's personality. He says “She used the time, though. She read an article in a woman's pocket sized magazine, called “Sex Is Fun-or Hell.”She washed her comb and brush.” and that “She tweezed two freshly surfaced hairs from her mole.”(pg1). These actions portray Muriel as a very vane and materialistic person. Though normal people do
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