a Perfect Day for Bananafish
It is very truly said that the ‘Excess of Anything is Bad’. This quote is proved right in the short fiction A Perfect Day For Bananafish through the example given by Seymour about the banana fever to bananafish. This story involves many characters such as Seymour, Sybil, Muriel and Mother. The Muriel is a round character in this story, she is a pretty and self-intrigued socialite, immovably settled in the shallow, materialistic world. Moreover, this fiction is a good symbol of representing the worse effects of War on general public especially on Seymour.
Firstly, Muriel is such a girl who places great importance to her appearance and that was the reason why she “for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing” (3-4) and continued doing stuff with her nails. She is least concerned about Seymour’s mental condition and this is depicted when, she did not pay any attention to the doctor in hotel when he asked her weather, “Seymour’s been sick or something” and when mother asks her for reason behind doctor’s chat she replied “I don’t know, mother, I guess because he’s so pale and all,” (10). Even, she is concentrating on the dress of doctor’s wife and said, “his wife was horrible” (10) and continue commenting on her dress. When Sybil asks Seymour where Muriel is, Seymour says, “She may be in one of a thousand places. At the hairdresser’s. Having her hair dyed mink. Or making dolls for poor children, in her room” (17). Muriel elicits nothing but scorn from Seymour presumably since he came home from the war, although she is not overly concerned with his behavior, even his calling her “Miss Spiritual Tramp 1948” (7). If she would not be materialistic and worry about her husband then at least she must have accompanied Seymour everywhere during the trip and drove the car herself. But she was not concerned at all about Seymour, so she let him drive even after knowing what Seymour did with her dad’s car. If she would have cared about Seymour then maybe she had not lost her forever.
Next to it, Seymour is Intelligent but psychologically damaged from the war and an unrepentant outsider among his wife, his wife’s family, the guests at the Florida resort, and society in general. He is suffering from mental disorder and this is shown when mother says, “Did he tried any of that funny business with the trees?” (6). This shows may be he have a drastic experience with trees during war because no person can do anything without a reason. Moreover, mother talks about something, “he tries to do with Granny’s chair?” (11). This tells that he use to do many things that were not normal. Even, in the lift he got angry on the women who was looking at the floor and Seymour shouts on her and tell her he have “two normal feet”(26). Furthermore, he killed the innocence of a small child Sybil by kissing her on her foot at the end of the beach scene. He is so stressed with his life that at end of the story he kills himself. He actually compare himself with the example, he gave to Sybil about the bananafish, a type of fish who eat a lot of bananas and is unable to come out of the whole and die there with banana fever. Actually, he is comparing the fish with himself and kill himself because he over loaded with stress due to the war and at end releases himself from the trauma.
In a nutshell, through his written work, Salinger studies his social condition—the United States in the post– World War II time. In “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” Salinger evaluates the materialistic purchaser society of after war America, which delighted in abundance and greedy. The nation’s monetary blast incited individuals to purchase things that they or their folks had at no other time possessed the capacity to gain. This prosperous period denoted a radical takeoff from the shortage required by the war and the Depression that went before it. Amid this time, ladies were the intended interest group of advertising efforts for items extending from kitchen machines to extravagance garments to magazines. For a returning solider like Salinger or Seymour who was getting back home from a crushed Europe, this new American blast prompted confusion and unease. Therefore, such persons who are affected from the war requires extra care and attention to help them take themselves out from the trauma. Unluckily, Seymour does not get that care and he committed suicide.
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