How does knowing or not knowing the ending of “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” affect your reading of the story? Which details that at first seem innocuous ultimately reveal themselves as important clues to the story’s ending?
At first reading of the story, many aspects of Seymour’s behavior do not seem troubling. Though Muriel’s mother insists that he behaved strangely in the past, Muriel explains these behaviors away as Seymour’s eccentricities. On the beach, Seymour tells a little girl a funny story; in the elevator, Seymour snaps at a woman. However, knowing about Seymour’s suicide at the end of the story casts a different light onto the preceding events. Seymour’s...
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