Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
After finishing "Bananafish," you're probably so consumed with sympathy for Seymour that you don't want to admit you ever suspected the poor guy of any sexual interest in Sybil. But your first time through the story, you probably started to feel a little uncomfortable right about here:
"Sybil," he said, "I'll tell you what we'll do. We'll see if we can catch a bananafish."
"A bananafish," he said, and undid the belt of his robe. (2.39-41)
Did Salinger intend this to sound, in a word, sketchy? Or are we just a bunch of cynics who wouldn't know a beautiful and innocent friendship if it smacked us on the nose? Hard to say.
What you want to think about here are the implications for our reading of "Bananafish," particularly Seymour's death. How does the interpretation of this particular moment change the way we interpret the ending? Check out Seymour's "Character Analysis" for more.