14 October 2013
The deep psychological trauma that forces a man to end his life is beyond expression. But beyond that, those who are left alive are also left with the burden of death. All too often, mental illness forces the hand of an individual who in turn tragically impacts a greater group of people. J.D Salinger created the character Seymour Glass to explore this topic of mental anguish. This witty and cryptic character appears in many of Salinger’s fictional works, but his first appearance was in the short story A Perfect Day for Bananafish in 1948 (Menke). Salinger wrote backwards into this psychopathic ex-soldier’s life; his first appearance telling his suicide (Menke). In A Perfect Day for Bananafish¸ J.D Salinger demonstrates how those who suffer from mental illness can victimize innocent members of society, proving that more attention must be given to people with psychological disorders by using, irony, foreshadowing, and the juxtaposition between the mood and the dramatic plot.
J.D Salinger’s use of Irony effectively proves the impact an individual’s suicide has on others. At the beginning of the story during Muriel’s phone call to her mother and Muriel’s mother tells her that Seymour’s psychiatrists assures them that Seymour may “snap” and lose control (Salinger). However, Muriel assures her mother that Seymour is fine and this is warning is quickly dismissed and covered with the influx of petty conversational anecdotes. It is very ironic and unfortunate how Muriel quickly dismissed instead of taking heed of her mother’s warnings, because now she must endure the remainder of her life with the memory of her husband shooting himself to death inches away from her sleeping body. Also, this emphasizes how easily society will ignore the signs of someone else’s problems until it is too late. Another example of irony is when Muriel says: “you talk about him as though he were a raving...