A Perfect Day for Bananafish Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Perfect Day for Bananafish

In the book, 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish', Seymour Glass has returned from World War II a little delusional, depressed, and maybe a little bit crazy. Muriel, his wife, is more interested in herself than her husband, and keeps to her own in her hotel room while they are on vacation. Muriel's family is concerned about Seymour and their daughter, as he has been calling her odd names and behaving badly in public.
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The story shifts to where Seymour is laying on the beach alone, and is very pale and covered up. A little girl named Sybil comes up to him and begins talking, they seem to already know each other. Sybil is concerned with whether or not Seymour likes another little girl better than her since she had been sitting with him in the hotel lobby on the piano bench while he played. Seymour reassures her and tells her a story of the bananafish and that they should go into the water to look for them. She is floating on a raft and claims that she spots one, Seymour describes how bananafish can eat seventy bananas in the hole they swim into, but they die because they become too fat to fit back through the hole afterwards.
   Seymour returns to the hotel and feels as if a woman is staring at his feet, she says she is not, but it puts him on edge because he feels as if his feet are normal and not worth staring at. He enters his hotel room where Muriel, his wife, is sleeping on a twin bed by herself, and he pulls out a gun and shoots himself in the head.
The review of this Book prepared by bzook

A Perfect Day for Bananafish is about a young girl and a boy who both run away together to a beach resort in New York. Muriel (the girl) is perfectly sane and acts like any other normal girl would; very interested in self-looks and lives a carefree life.

However, Sybil (the boy) is mentally ill and depressed.
Sybil is on the beach and is flirting with a girl, seeming like a normal person. But he begins to scare the girl by saying the most random, most wierd things such as what a bananafish is. She runs away from him and depresses Sybil even more. On his way back to the hotel room, he thinks that a woman is staring at his extremely pale feet when she was actually staring at the floor. He yells at her and she denies staring at his feet, which causes him to yell at her even more and calls her a sneak. Then, Sybil goes into his hotel room and shoots himself.
The review of this Book prepared by alisa

Chapter Analysis of A Perfect Day for Bananafish

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Battle with a psychiatrist    -   Yes Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?    -   mental illness Brain/Body disability?    -   mental illness

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   Northeast    -   Deep South Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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J.D. Salinger Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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