Symbolism In A Perfect Day For Bananafish

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In “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” J.D. Salinger uses a conglomeration of symbols and motifs to represent Seymour and the materialism and greed of adults in society; Diction and a motif of different colors portray his feelings and emotions which may have led him to take his own life after the war.
Seymour comes home from the war and can not merge into society. Salinger uses the bananafish to represent Seymour’s life; Seymour goes to war and the bananafish “swim into a banana hole” (Salinger). They “eat as many as seventy-eight bananas” showing a lack of self control and inability to let things go which Seymour explicitly demonstrates when he can not dismiss the memories of the war. The bananafish eat so many bananas “they can’t get out of the
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Similarly, the bananafish keep eating until they are trapped and “can’t get out of the hole.” Muriel depicts this materialism perfectly as she judges the psychiatrist’s wife solely on the “awful dinner dress” she was wearing.2 To add insult to injury, Muriel insults the people in the neighboring room because “they look as if they drove down in a truck.” Salinger uses the bananafish to represent the greed and materialism of Muriel and society as a whole, but also employs motifs to convey the feelings of …show more content…
He says Sybil looks nice in her bathing suit and “kisses the arch” of her foot. However, when taking in context the horrific events of Seymour’s life it is clear that this is not pedophilia, but rather a desire for the innocence and purity that she has as a child because he understands that he will never get his back after participating in war. While Salinger primarily focuses on the materialism of Muriel, he never addresses Muriel’s pigheadedness: which may have contributed to the death of Seymour. She ignores the apparent and evident tell tale signs of a mental illness and denies that there is anything wrong with him. Her refusal and resistance to put Seymour back into the Army hospital resulted in Seymour having no one to help him cope with his despicable and despairing retrospections: leading to his suicide. After examining the roots of Seymour’s suicide, it is clear that this was not an unwarranted gratuitous act but one that sprouted from a medley assortment of

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