In Nine stories by J.D. Salinger, one of his famous short stories, A Perfect Day for Bananafish discusses the life of Seymour and his relationship with others and the world around him. The short story touches upon the themes of innocence and materialism, but also gives meaning to the symbolic analysis of the Bananafish. Salinger includes symbolism throughout his work to portray the following themes as the story progresses.
Salinger uses materialism though the character Muriel through her world of wealth. Muriel is Seymour’s wife who lives life with luxury, each time we see Muriel in the story she is always dressed to impress. She wears expensive silk dresses, nails always painted, and uses fine leather luggage. Muriel and Seymour life styles are very divided in the story; While Seymour is reading fine poetry Muriel is reading women fashion magazines. Through out the story the audience can tell that she is more concerned about how she looks and what she is wearing than her own husbands problems. When Muriel was talking to her mother she states, “Did he say he thought there was a chance he might get—you know –funny or anything? Do something to you!” (Salinger5) This is in the beginning of the story when Muriel is talking to her mom. In the same conversation a few lines down Muriel’s mom asks “Well. How’s your blue coat? “All right. I had some of the padding taken out.” “How are the clothes this year?” “Terrible”” (Salinger5). Even when they are talking about Seymour’s behavior the conversation quickly changes right back to material goods. Muriel’s obsession with material goods blocks her view of reality and what’s going on around her.
Just like Muriel, Seymour portrays innocence throughout the story. He drifts between the world of Adults and childhood. After Seymour came home from the war he developed major psychological distress from everything he saw over seas. He finds refuge in children because they portray innocence and purity. Children are...
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