A Perfect Day for Bananafish Essay

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Wallace is a freelance writer and poet. In this essay, Wallace explores the mysteries Seymour Glass struggled with on the day before his death.

In some ways, J. D. Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is a mystery story. Its protagonist, Seymour Glass, is married to a beautiful woman. He is on vacation at a tropical resort. He has just spent the day on the beach, having a playful nonsense conversation with one of the hotel's child guests. Why, then, would he end his afternoon by putting a gun to his head?

Some clues can be found in Salinger's other writings, Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, which concern the Glass family, a group of precocious siblings of which Seymour is the eldest. Each of these other stories is in some way about Seymour as well—the other siblings...

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This section contains 2,422 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Perfect Day for Bananafish Study Guide
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A Perfect Day for Bananafish from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.