A Perfect Day for Bananafish Themes

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Almost everything (and everyone) in Seymour's world is tainted by shallowness, vanity, or violence. The most obvious example of this state of affairs is the war, which destroyed a part of Seymour that he is only able to recognize in the two children he befriends at the hotel. Muriel is almost completely self-absorbed: all of her actions in the story's opening paragraph have to do with her appearance (moving a button, cleaning a skirt, polishing her nails, washing her comb and brush, tweezing a mole); when asked by Seymour to read the poems of Rainer Marie Rilke, she mocks Seymour's enthusiasm and instead flips through a brainless article titled "Sex Is Fun—or Hell." (Presumably she has to be told the answer to this riddle.) Despite Seymour's past indications that his mind was collapsing, she brushes aside her mother's concern because this is "the first vacation" she...

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This section contains 765 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Perfect Day for Bananafish Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A Perfect Day for Bananafish from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.