I’m Aíne Norris, a communications professional and graduate student living and working in Richmond, VA.

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Perfect Day for Bananafish - Salinger's Glimpse into PTSD

JD Salinger’s 1948 short story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is our first glimpse into his Glass family. The story, first published in the New Yorker, discusses a WWII soldier’s re-acclamation into society and has a tough, realistic ending. Salinger, a WWII veteran, provides an honest glimpse into American society as seen by recently returned veterans. How does Salinger’s message in the short story resonate in today’s culture of war and America?

  • I am deeply interested by this topic. I have always been a fan of Salinger, and I would very much be curious to hear other people's perspectives on the Glass family and Seymour. – tysonfraleigh 6 years ago
  • There is so much to say on this topic. Seymour Glass, the protagonist of A Perfect Day For Banana Fish, is largely absent from Salinger's oeuvre despite being referred to in several of his other works. He is a member of America's 'Greatest Generation' that won what is often considered to be the last 'just war' (WWII). This all seems to have a jarring connection to what followed: Vietnam, Nixon, the CIA involvement in Latin America, Bush, Iraq, and directly the PTSD issue. – ptoro 6 years ago
  • I definitely agree; Salinger was setting the stage for the PTSD issue for generations to come, but in a way that broke boundaries of newspapers or televisions. I think A Perfect Day for Banana Fish was far ahead of its time. – Aine 6 years ago

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Latest Comments


I think you have a thorough list compiled! I’m especially pleased to see both Orwell and Atwood on your list; I think Atwood’s blend of dystopia and sci-fi, as well as biopolitics, makes her a valuable voice for the future of dystopian writing (as we see currently in her MadAddam trilogy).

Recently Orwell has been pulled from a lot of high school curriculums and REPLACED with books like the Hunger Games in hopes of encouraging students to read with modern titles. Do you think teachers should try to work with both texts instead of replacing Orwell’s classic?

7 Classic Books For Those New to Dystopia

Your article is quite interesting! I’m also glad to see your use of the original illustrations, available in the Berkeley version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Do you think Twain provides subtle agency for Jim by pairing him with Huck, a character of a similar socio-economic and societal background? The only reason Huck would be (potentially) more viable in society is his race, especially after turning over his found fortune to the Judge before embarking on the journey with Jim. Twain seems to put two very similar male characters together, letting them grow and feed off each other, but asking the reader to decide if they’re equal.

Great article. Enjoyed it! Thanks!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Analysing its Racial Context and Reception

This is really interesting; while I was aware of some of your book-to-movie examples, a few were brand new to me.

I’m glad you brought up Harper Lee’s commentary on her friend Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. They forged quite a friendship when Lee was on set for TKAM, the film; so much that Peck is actually clutching the pocket watch of Harper Lee’s deceased father when he accepts his Academy Award for the role. Truly, as you point out and as articulated by Lee… it’s not often we (as readers and viewers of films) get to see an actor so perfectly portray a beloved, complicated character in literature as we did with Peck as Finch.

You also bring up Mickey Rooney’s incredibly racist portrayal of Holly’s landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thank you! I’d love to see more scholarship and discussion about why this character was included and portrayed in such a manner in the film.

Great read. Thanks!

Do We Need the Author's Approval in a Film Adaptation?