A Fantastic Day For Dissecting J.D. Salinger’s Bananafish

J.D. Salinger’s 1951 classic brief tale, “A Fantastic Working day for Bananafish,” introduces Salinger’s preferred character, Seymour Glass – only to get rid of him some numerous internet pages afterwards. The story starts in a posh seaside hotel area, exactly where we overhear Glass’s wife on the phone with her mother speaking about Seymour’s psychological overall health. From there, we head to the beach front, in which Seymour is hanging out with a 4-ish-year previous woman named Sybil and telling her tales about the elusive “bananafish.” The tale ends with Seymour returning to his resort area and capturing himself in the head.

Seymour Glass, or, as Sybil phone calls him, “see more glass,” is a hotly contested quick tale character in American literature – which offers his oh-so transparent identify all the extra irony. Persons are unable to appear to be to agree on what the person is like, why he is normally hanging out with very little youngsters, or, most importantly, why he decides to kill himself. There are a few foremost theories on the issue.

Theory One particular: Seymour is a bananafish. No, seriously. In the description he offers to Sybil, bananafish are fish that swim into holes and gorge on so a lot of bananas that they get stuck and die. According to some, this is Seymour’s unorthodox but fitting metaphor for the materialistic consumer mentality of publish-WWII American society – not that we’d know just about anything about that currently. This of program begs the concern, what does Seymour’s suicide necessarily mean? Is going back to his fancy-shmancy hotel place and killing himself the human equal of diving into a banana gap and feeding on to demise? That may possibly reveal why Sybil thinks she sees a bananafish – she could be chatting about Seymour. OR, possibly Seymour’s suicide is a way of conquering the content world: by leaving it altogether.

Idea Two: Seymour is a pervert. Yup, all that befriending and swimming and tale-telling is just his way of finding near to small women. You’ll recognize, for instance, that Seymour grabs Sybil’s ankles when he is lying on the beach, then again when he pushes her together the drinking water. When he goes so significantly as to kiss the bottom of her foot, even four-yr-aged Sybil is weirded out ample to yell, “Hey!” possibly remembering a thing she heard in preschool about a “pink-mild contact.” Humiliated and/or discouraged, Seymour instantly finishes their play date, heads again to the resort, and kills himself in disgrace. The reality that sexual abuse is an ambiguous but recurring concept in J.D. Salinger’s other functions, notably in The Catcher in the Rye, supports the chance that one thing is erroneous with Seymour’s libido.

Concept Three: Every person has gotten way too P.C. A contact is not necessarily inappropriate, a kiss isn’t generally sexual, grown ups and young children can cling out in non-creepy strategies, and literature won’t often have “erotic undertones.” Seymour is drawn to the innocence and guilelessness of children due to the fact his encounters in WWII have produced him really feel disillusioned with the adult environment – not to point out, conversing with Sybil lets him indulge in his imaginative side. Seymour can make up a fantastic tale about the lives and conduct of bananafish, and is tickled pink – in a non-sexual way – when Sybil performs together. Sadly, he has difficulties dropping this mischievousness when he will get again to the hotel. He jokingly accuses the woman in the elevator of “staring” at his toes, and, in a stunt that only an adult would pull, the lady gets offended by the insinuation. The argument escalates right up until Seymour becomes truly angry in its place of just pretend angry, and the girl flees from the elevator. Recognizing that he just would not gel with older people anymore, Seymour provides up hope of getting content and ends his existence.

With so numerous thoughts from “A Perfect Working day for Bananafish” unanswered, it really is no ponder that Salinger went on to characteristic Seymour in 4 extra tales, most importantly in the two-parter “[Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction].” In these two novellas, Seymour’s devoted minimal brother, Buddy, undertakes the problem of putting Seymour to paper. The point that his composing is generally rambling, disjointed, and unattainable to observe indicates that probably we’re just not intended to know.