A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger


I think that J.D. Salinger is a very good writer and that he succeeded with making the dialogue in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” really sharp, in order to make up for the lack of inner monologue. Not having that step into the characters’ heads really allowed for me to think about what was going on and figure things out for myself, which I really like. It also gave the reader a sense of mystery, I found myself wondering what was going to happen. I definitely did not expect that ending, but looking back it makes sense for him to die after talking to the little girl about how bananafish gorge themselves on bananas and then die.

I think that I knew something was wrong with the soldier when the girl’s mother kept asking her if she was okay and if he had done anything to her. At first it seemed like she was just an overbearing mother, and that is how the girl kind of portrayed her by blowing off all of her questions. However, it seemed like the mother was being serious and that she was really worried about her daughter.

I also found the conversation between the soldier and the little girl very interesting. I’m sure that it was meant to show that he could better communicate with children and that he felt more at ease around those who had not yet lost their innocence. This is definitely something that would make sense for a person who was probably suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder and could no longer relate to the “grown-ups” around him. However, in a modern day and age, and I guess my own modern views he bordered on creepy for me. I guess back then it was socially acceptable to leave your child on a beach alone and maybe for people to interact with that child, but the soldier kissing the child’s feet borderlined on pedophilia a bit too much for me. Maybe I’m just taking that the wrong way and its supposed to just be this sweet moment and last connection the soldier makes before he decides to kill himself.

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