Throughout the book, A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger, the inability to communicate is seen during the entire novel between Muriel Glass and her mother as well as between Muriel Glass and Seymour Glass. This is supported by the random and sporadic dialogue between the two groups, leaving readers confused. The inability to communicate between Muriel and her mother is seen in the dialogue when it seems that they don't acknowledge what the other person says, half-heartedly trying to comfort the other without truly communicating. Also, there is little to no communication between Muriel and Seymour because throughout the entire novel they do not exchange any words with each other at all, which is strange since they are married to each other.
The lack of communication between Muriel and mother is displayed throughout the entire novel. For example, Muriel's mother and Muriel are talking over the phone and say, I've been worried to death about you. Why haven't you phoned? Are you all right? I tried to get to you last night and the night before. The phone here's been--. Are you all right, Muriel? (Salinger 2). This excerpt of when Muriel is talking with her mom shows that Muriel's mother never accepts Muriel's word that she is safe, which may display her mother's lack of trust in her and Seymour. Also their lack of communication is seen once again through their chat over the phone when they are both talking and say, He drove? Muriel, you gave me your word of-- Mother, the girl interrupted, I just told you. He drove very nicely. Under fifty the whole way, as a matter of fact (Salinger 2). In contrast to before, when Muriel's mother never accepts Muriel's reassurances that she is safe, this time Muriel shakes off her mother's worries by betraying her trust and having Seymour drive her to her Florida Hotel Room. This clearly exemplifies the lack of communication between Muriel and her mother because she doesn't listen to her mother's worries and shakes them off. On the other hand her mother doesn't have any trust in Muriel and is frantically worrying about her, disregarding Muriel and never accepting that she is safe.
Finally, there is a lack of communication between Muriel and her husband, Seymour Glass. This is due to the fact that Muriel and Seymour did not exchange any words between each other at all throughout the entire novel. It seemed that both Muriel and Seymour were not interested in communicating with one another because it was apparent that Muriel had no idea or ignored the fact that Seymour is sick because she is certain that Seymour is mentally healthy. Also, Seymour did not want to talk to Muriel either because he did not even have Muriel notice his poor mental condition. But, the only piece of communication that Seymour conveys to Muriel is when, He glanced at the lying asleep on one of the twin beds... he took out an Ortgies calibre 7.65 automatic. He released the magazine, looked at it, then reinserted it. He cocked the piece. Then he went over and sat down on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple (Salinger 12). Seymour's suicide can be taken as a form of communication because Jonathan McLelland says, True communication spans far beyond spoken words. It's verbal and mental, as well as even physical (McLelland 1). Based on McLelland's words, this may have been the only form of communication between Muriel and Seymour because this one physical action cannot be overlooked. This suicide may have been the only form of communication between the two, although it may have been abrupt, it tells Muriel that her belief about Seymour being mentally healthy was false and that she should have tried to care for him more or tried to understand him better. Even her attempt to try and talk to the psychiatrist was done half-heartedly and when she was talking to her mother about it, she displayed no interest in it because of her belief that Seymour was mentally healthy.
In conclusion, the entire novel is replete with lack of communication between Muriel and her mother as well as Muriel and Seymour. This is seen when Muriel's mother does not take Muriel's word that she is safe, due to Seymour's mental health, and Muriel always brushes off her mother's worries and places full faith in her husband, Seymour. Also, there is lack of communication between Muriel and Seymour because there only form of communication is Seymour's suicide at the very end conveying messages to Muriel that Seymour was not in a healthy mental state and that she should have been more considerate and tried to understand Seymour better.