In “A Perfect Day for a Banishes” by J. D. Slinger, the main character, Seymour, presents himself as a small, insecure child. Seymour’s participation in World War II permanently altered his ability to interact with civilized society. His peers, such as Muriel and his mother in law, contemplate that he is crazy, or mentally ill. As a result, he has no sense of how to live or relate to these people surrounding him. Seymour only finds relaxation through the connection with innocent children similar to Sybil.
The pent up emotions of continuously feeling Judged by his peers, causes Seymour to cake his own life, thinking this is the only way to relieve his stress. The tragic experiences Seymour endures during World War II have left him feeling isolated and incapable of relating to those around him. It is clear that one can only survive through communicating and obtaining moral support from their family and friends, a central theme of J. D. Clinger’s Nine Stories. As the story begins, Muriel is displayed as a narcissistic person, who does not even try to understand the trauma her husband is going through.
All she desires is for her life to be flawless. Muriel only takes care of herself and she doesn’t listen to anyone. Merrill’s actions are a prime reason why Seymour has trouble sharing with Muriel his true feelings. Muriel and her mother are constantly Judging Seymour, saying that he is mentally ill, or crazy. Merrill’s mother states, “Muriel. My word of honor. DRP. Civets said Seymour might completely lose control”. The tension between Muriel, Merrill’s mother, and Seymour cause Seymour to coexist under a great amount of stress.
The lack of communication between Seymour and his wife is not healthy for their relationship. Muriel is too self-absorbed and materialistic to care about Seymour’s suffering. Another example of where there is an absence of communication is when Muriel doesn’t listen to her mother. “Muriel, I’m only going to ask you once more- are you really alright?”, stated the mother. Here Merrill’s mother does not understand why Muriel keeps saying she is k. The mother wants to believe that her daughter has had enough and wants to divorce her husband so she nags Muriel hoping to retrieve the answer she wants to hear.
The anger Muriel holds triggers her to remain unmindful of how she treats Seymour; this forces Seymour pepper into a rut that he will soon not be able to climb back out of. Now the setting has shifted to Seymour on the beach, an uneasy war veteran, who avoids contact with Judgmental adults and seeks consolation through the innocence of children. Seymour seeks comfort through innocent children. He opens up to them knowing that they will listen and not critic him. A passage within the story verifies these feelings are true of Seymour. While resting on the beach a young girl named Sybil attends Seymour.
Shortly after they catch up, Sybil asks Seymour, “Are you going in the water? “. Normally Seymour never takes off his robe. It represents a shield, or protection from being Judged, but since Seymour loves children he decides to swim with Sybil. While the two are swimming, Seymour asks Sybil if she wants to look for Banishes. According to Seymour Banishes, “… Swim into a whole where there’s a lot to bananas… But once they get in, they behave like pigs” Seymour proceeds to say how Banishes get so fat that they cannot get out of the hole, so they perish. Banishes are not real but they do represent Seymour.
Seymour feels that he has too many emotions to live his life. Just like the Banishes eat too many bananas and die. While Sybil goes under an enormous wave, she hurdles out of the water and states, “l Just saw one”. He asked Sybil, “Did he have any bananas in his mouth? ” Sybil replied, miss. Six”. The lack of communication appears when Sybil sees the Banishes. Seymour thinks Sybil comparing him to the Banishes, instead of realizing that she used her imagination. The misunderstanding causes Seymour to change drastically, no longer believing children are innocent, but they are just as Judgmental as adults.
As the story completes, Seymour fades, illustrating a delicate soul that is no match for the world of heartless adults. Seymour has seen horrible things that no one can relate to. He feels as if he is an outsider, and he cannot find peace. The people surrounding him constantly Judge him causing Seymour to become overwhelmed. As Seymour walks through the lobby, he yells at a woman, “If you want to look at my feet, say so, but don’t be a God-damned sneak about it”. The lack of Seymour being able to communicate with adults properly makes him think that they all hate him and edge him.
The woman also becomes angry from being accused of something she did not do and doesn’t give a proper response. She states, ” I beg your pardon”). This only makes Seymour madder. A large reason why Seymour accused the woman of staring at his feet is that his robe/shield does not hide them. The robe covers every ounce on his body except for his feet, leaving Seymour insecure. The communication between the woman and Seymour is certainly not friendly and it pushes Seymour over the top. He proceeds to his last resort and takes his own life on the bed next to Muriel.