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Communication in A Perfect Day For Bananafish Essay


Communication is Key

In the short story, A Perfect Day for Banana fish, a young World War II veteran takes a gun to his right temple and pulls the trigger without any hesitation. This young man was clearly troubled. May it be from the war, his present life, his love life, or even maybe the people around him? He either had to release his troubles through killing himself, therefore emptying himself from the mortal world or fight through whatever was gnawing at his mind. J.D. Salinger paints a picture that shows that Seymour Glass has been thrown into the times of war and has come back a different person that injures his ability to communicate wit those around him.

At the beginning of the story we read about the phone conversation between Muriel and her mother, which the reader some insight that Seymour is a disturbed young veteran with a mental condition, and gives some indication of suicide. She lacks the will to understand Seymour's pain. "She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing." (Salinger, 1). Muriel neglects her husband's problems and needs. It seems like she cares for him when she is talking with her mother in the first scene but she repeatedly dismissed her mothers worry for him and herself. He thinks his only hope is to escape-permanently. Muriels casual attempts to assist him seem to reveal the fact that she puts herself before others. Her mother urges her to go home because of his condition, but Muriel supports Seymour's reputation despite the proof that he needs help.

The lack of communication in this story is very obvious when it is read. But it is not just a lack of communication with people in general; it is more present with the adults that he tries to communicate with. Seymour's scene in the elevator about his feet shows that he feels threatened by the judgment of adults. When Seymour entered his hotel room in the final scene, he felt attacked by the tawdriness of his wife. He relates his life to the "banana hole" where innocent fish are deceived by the appearance of a happy future and then stuff themselves with the temptation of bananas and then cannot get out of the hole. A feeling of isolation overcomes him when he realizes he can no longer communicate in the adult world, but Seymour shows great sensitivity when communicating with youths.

We first meet Seymour on the quiet beach of a Miami resort hotel. Sybil approaches Seymour and he treats young Sybil with the utmost respect and kindness. He is very sympathetic to her youth and tries to communicate with her in the perspective of a child. When he speaks of the "Little Black Sambo" he speaks as though he is the same age as her, showing his excitement and surprise with the amount of tigers in the story. Seymour seems to understand the pains and struggles of being young. When Sybil becomes jealous of Sharon Lipshutz for sitting with him on the piano bench, she tells Seymour he should have pushed her off of the piano bench. He says "Oh, no. No. I couldn't do thatI'll tell you what I did do, though."(Salinger 7). She questions him and he replies that he pretended Sharon was Sybil. He carefully goes about explaining the situation that angered Sybil, rather than brushing her anger off as a childish nuisance. Although he is well to communicate with youth he again has problems when it comes to adults, even his own wife has a lack of communication.

The reasons for Seymours suicide are thus provento be muddled in with his story about the banana fish. That he is the banana fish that has gone out and taken in so many things from being in the war that he cannot get out of the hole that he was thrown into. An interpretation of Seymour obtained from the story is that he is troubled by his own lack to communicate well with the adults that surround him. Let alone communicate with his own wife properly. These factors ultimately lead to his suicide

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