Imagery in 'a Perfect Day for Bananafish'

The term imagery refers to the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas. (Simpson 220).The short story A Perfect Day for Bananafish, by J.D. Salinger, creates imagery in almost every aspect of the story; yet, after intensive analysis, the significance behind the imagery unfolds.
Four different types of imagery in the story represent different symbolisms, for example: Visual Imagery (with reference to the bananafish), Gustatory Imagery (with reference to the olives), Tactile Imagery (with reference to Seymour who grasps Sybil's ankle) as well as Organic Imagery (with reference to Seymour’s state of distress). ( These references will be elaborated on as the essay progresses.

A Perfect Day for Bananafish is a story about a soldier of the army (Seymour Glass) who battled in World War II, and who departs on holiday with his materialistic wife (Muriel Glass). Seymour Glass suffers from post-traumatic stress due to the horrors he witnessed in the war. As is revealed in the story, he seems to struggle to connect with adults – but can easily relate to the uncorrupted and innocent youth, such as Sybil Carpenter and Sharon Lipschutz. Muriel Glass, on the other hand, appears to be aloof and nonchalant about Seymour’s complication.

Sunburns play a crucial function in the short story in connection with imagery. With focus on Seymour (who is very pale and covers himself with a robe on the beach to refrain from getting sun burnt), refers to being exposed to more sun as losing one’s spiritual purity or youthful innocence. Thus, Seymour is trying to maintain his – whilst Muriel (who is badly sun burnt) has lost hers, due to her materialistic nature and false exterior (which is evident with regards to her constant titivating).

The colour blue in A Perfect Day for Bananafish may refer to purity or innocence (Gage 209). Seymour’s swimming shorts are blue (which represents innocence), portraying that...