A Perfect Day for Bananafish

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  • A young woman named Muriel Glass is on a beach vacation when she receives a call from her mother, who is concerned about her husband Seymour's health- he has PTSD. She only cares about her materialistic and selfish needs, and does not think of her husband's or mother's well being. She would rather continue with her vacation then tend to their needs.
  • "I just got here, Mother. This is the first vacation I've had in years, and I'm not going to just pack everything and come home," said the girl.
  • “Did you see more glass?”
  • A young girl named Sybil Carpenter and her mother are spending a day on the beach. When she asks for Seymour Glass, her mother dismisses the comment and does not truly listen. This shows the difference between a child's and adult's world- the innocence and sincerity that Seymour admires, and cynicism and materialism like Muriel.
  • “Pussycat, stop saying that. It’s driving Mommy absolutely crazy.”
  • Seymour Glass would rather have innocent, fantasy conversations with children then interact seriously with adults and face the reality that upsets him so. He makes up imaginary "bananafish" to have fun with Sybil, while subconsciously reflecting on his own experiences and problems.
  • "You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish.
  • The bananafish represent Seymour. Going into the army and war, he was naive and did not know what he was getting in to. After the war, he can never truly leave- like the bananafish and the hole. The memories haunt him, and he will never be able to interact normally and be content again.
  • "They lead a very tragic life..."Well, they swim into a hole where there's a lot of bananas...once they get in, they behave like pigs...after that they're so fat they can't get out of the hole again
  • “If you want to look at my feet, say so,” said the young man. “But don’t be a God-damned sneak about it.”
  • Seymour's interactions with Sybil were stable, but we get a sense here of his strange interactions with adults Muriel's mother was mentioning. He shows random, unfounded anger in this outburst. He is also commenting on her insincere, fake composure that does not correspond to her true personality or intentions which he dislikes greatly.
  • While Seymour seems relatively stable throughout the story, we see that he truly is disturbed and unstable. His act of suicide is calm and random, showing it is very much internal and not caused by any particular event.
  • Then he went over sat down on the unoccupied bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple.
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