J. D. Salinger's A Perfect Day For Bananafish

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Perfect Day for a Melancholy Death French poet, Comte de Lautreamont, once said, “Melancholy and sadness are the start of doubt... doubt is the beginning of despair; despair is the cruel beginning of the differing degrees of wickedness” (BrainyQuote). “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”, begins as World War II ends, when Seymour Glass returns from the war, he marries Muriel, a vain and self-absorbed woman. While on a vacation/honeymoon in Florida, Seymour slowly begins to unravel. Having gone to war an “innocent” and returned in deep despair because of his participation in combat. J.D. Salinger was born New Year’s Day, 1919 in New York City. Son of Solomon Salinger, a wealthy businessman, and Miriam Salinger. The Salinger’s were living “The American Dream”, coming from nothing to living on Park Avenue in New York City. Coming from a wealthy family, Salinger was sent to some of the most elite private…show more content…
The ‘bananafish’ symbolize the hatred in Seymour’s life, a hatred that has taken his innocence. Seymour states, “They’re very ordinary looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Why, I’ve known some bananafish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas” (Salinger). Bananafish are greedy much like the countries who supported the war. Countries who wanted to rule the world with no dare for the cruelty and destruction suffered by so many, including Seymour Glass. According to the article “A Perfect Day for Bananafish Recommended Reading: 500 Classics Reviewed”, “...bananafish gorge themselves until they are too fat to escape the holes, thereby sealing their doom. Likewise, Seymour is a victim of gluttony” (“A Perfect Day for Bananafish Recommended Reading: 500 Classics Reviewed”). Seymour, a victim of war, was put on the front lines, a place of murder and combat. The ‘bananafish’ were used to symbolize Seymour and the various people around
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