Commentary on J.D Salinger´s Story: A Perfect Day for Bananafish

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“Call me the instant he does, or says, anything at all funny--you know what I mean” (Salinger 1). This is a line from “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” one of the nine best selling stories written by J.D Salinger. It shows Muriel and her mother in a phone conversation, discussing Muriel’s apparant mentally ill husband.In this short story, the consequences of war is shown through the husband’s actions and feelings. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the many mental illnesses that the husband faces, and subsequently, leads to his death. Salinger writes of a post World War II time where a mentally disturbed man and a young girl converse together about seemingly ordinary things. Salinger, being a World War II veteran, was greatly …show more content…
In the very beginning, Muriel, a young reckless woman, talks about Seymour, her husband, during a phone conversation with her mother. Muriel’s mother questions the mental stability of her husband, who has gone through World War II as a soldier. The two debate about his personality and emotions, which is a start to a ‘not so perfect’ day. In addition, Seymour has mixed feelings for other people.“Seymour's apparently irrational statements about these things are his ironic recognition that the child's simple, sure mind, if more comfortable than his own, is no more infinite, no more transcendent” (Lane). It seems ironic that Seymour knows that Sybil, the girl, has a innocent and youthful mind while he does not. Furthermore, Seymour tells Sybil to "just keep [her] eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish” (Salinger 6). It is ironic that Seymour seems to know whether or not the imaginative bananafish are out in sea. He himself is insecure and filled with grief while the bananafish are not, eating upon eating hundreds of bananas.
Moreover, Seymour’s name is “see more” according to Sybil. This is ironic because Sybil ‘sees more’ than Seymour. “Her opening words ("See more glass") also suggest her ability to perceive the deeper meaning of experience, a quality that many of Salinger's child characters possess--and one that many of his adult characters lack” (Galens). Sybil can see more into Seymour’s life than he can himself.

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