A Perfect Day for Bananafish Essay

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the following essay excerpt, Lane finds the framework of "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and the key to Seymour's suicide in Rilke's Duino Elegies.

The Suicide of Seymour Glass in "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" has troubled readers and critics alike; despite the considerable attention paid it, its meaning has remained uncomfortably uncertain. Seymour, it is sometimes suggested, "unable to tolerate the everyday sensations of his tiresome, postwar life," has simply "lost his mind." This theory, however, emphasizes unduly the Seymour we hear about from other characters—the kind and gentle man we actually meet on the beach seems eccentric but eminently sane—and fails to explain convincingly, among other things, the clearly allegorical tale of the bananafish. Other critics feel that Seymour, for all his obvious intelligence, remains a child, that he "does many things—intentionally or unintentionally—to disrupt others' composure" and...

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This section contains 2,075 words
(approx. 6 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.