How does “For Esmé…” relate to “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”? In what ways do the two stories complement each other as well as provide contrast to one another?
Both of these stories explore the trauma that plagues soldiers after a war is over. In “A Perfect Day…”, we learn that Seymour has been depressed and behaving erratically, driving off the road and showing a preoccupation with death. In “For Esmé…”, the narrator displays many symptoms of ill mental health, such as shakiness, facial tics, an inability to read and write, and vomiting. Yet, the two stories show two very different endings for such traumatized individuals: Seymour takes his own life at the end of the...
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