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Essay on 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 affected by the war and a “characteristic that began to manifest itself at this time was a desire for isolation” (Blackstone, Pilon). Salinger characterizes the man as being mentally ill because he wants to show the great impacts of war.
In “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” the economy is struggling because of the effects of World War II. The husband of Muriel feels lonely and confides his feelings with a nine year old girl. They are so close in their relationship that they have daily conversations and become trustworthy to each other. J.D Salinger himself was lonely and miserable because of the war. He wanted to be noticed by people and turn the effects of wars. His views show that wars can dramatically change your personality, physical appearance, and mindset. Salinger develops his theme that innocence and youth are limited in his short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” through the use of irony, foreshadowing, and symbolism.
To begin with, Salinger shows the theme youth and innocence are limit...


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...at many of his adult characters lack” (Galens). Sybil can see more into Seymour’s life than he can himself. She acts as a communicator for Seymour, understanding his experiences and thoughts. Essentially, she relates to Seymour in such a way that she can help him cope with his troubles. ‘"See more glass,’ said Sybil Carpenter, who was staying at the hotel with her mother. 'Did you see more glass?"’ This shows Sybil asking her mother if she “sees more glass.” In other words, she is asking her mother if she can understand her, or simply if she saw Seymour around. Her mother responds as if she is babbling on about an irrelevant thing. Ironically, Sybil is the only one who can actually understand the feelings of Seymour. She practically ‘sees’ into his life. Salinger shows that youth and innocence are limited through his use of irony in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.”



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