Study Guide

A Perfect Day for Bananafish Spirituality

By J.D. Salinger

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Salinger wrote "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" when he was highly interested in Zen Buddhism. The epigraph to this story's collection suggests that we approach each tale as though it were a Zen kōan, a riddle with no logical answer. "Bananafish" in many ways rejects logical knowledge in favor of spiritual wisdom. It also condemns materialism as a great danger to the soul's well-being.

Questions About Spirituality

  1. What's up with Seymour's nickname for Muriel, "Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948"?
  2. What does Seymour mean when he tells Muriel that he doesn't want people to look at his tattoo?
  3. Why does Sybil like Seymour so much? Why does Seymour like Sybil so much?

Chew on This

Seymour's suicide is tantamount to a spiritual victory.

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