Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Questions

A Perfect Day for Bananafish Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How does the Seymour of Salinger's other Glass family stories differ from the Seymour of "Perfect Day for Bananafish"?
  2. In what ways is Seymour similar to Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of Salinger's novel Catcher in the Rye? Why do these two characters, similar in many ways, end up in such different places?
  3. There are a number of references to other writers and literary works in "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" (see "Shout Outs" for a full list). How do these other works or authors inform and comment on this story?
  4. How would the second half of the story be read, had we not first witnessed the conversation between Muriel and her mother? How does this first scene inform the second one?
  5. Consider the use of numbers in "A Perfect Day for Bananafish." (Room 507, six bananas, six tigers, the 7.65 automatic.) Is there anything going on here?
  6. The Big Question: Why does Seymour kill himself? Is there supposed to be a clear answer to this question, or not?

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