Theme Of Materialism In A Perfect Day For Bananafish

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American Society’s Materialism in A Perfect Day For Bannafish J.D Salinger believes society turns each and every one of us 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
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With her daughter away in Florida with her husband who recently came back from the war and who may potentially be suffering from a mental illness you would think they would have a lot of important things to talk about. When Muriel’s mother calls it does originally have to do with these things. She is making sure Muriel is okay and asking about the therapist in the hotel they are staying at. But then Muriel goes off about how terrible the phyciatrists wife dress was and how it was like the one that they saw while shopping one time. Her mother agrees it must have been awful. They spend more time talking about dresses and awful people then they do Muriel’s husbands potential mental illness. It shows how skewed their priorities are and how these material things so easily make them forget the more important …show more content…
He says that “...they swim into a hole where there’s a lot of bananas. They're very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in they behave like pigs...after they eat so many bananas they can't get out of the banana hole..they die.”(pg.14). It is a very strange way to explain an imaginary fish that you just made up to a young child, it’s a rather sad and grim concept. Unless you look at the whole thing as a way for Seymour to express his complex thoughts about society to a child. Recall earlier when instead of simply telling Sybil that she shouldn't poke the dog in the lobby Seymour comes up with a very innovative and original way to reprimand her without even saying a word about her. Looking at it this way sheds a whole new light on Seymour's story about the Bananafish. Instead of a strange story about an imaginary fish, Seymour is instead trying to warn Sibyl of the dangers of American culture and how if you keep taking and taking and always looking for more and not stopping once it starts to be too much you will become so full of it all that it will harm or even kill you and that is what Salinger thinks about American society. He uses Seymour and his lesson to a little girl on the beach to tell the reader what believes about American culture and what they should be careful

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