J. D. Salinger's War Fiction
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This paper relates that J. D. Salinger's short fiction was influenced to a great extent by his participation in World War II and by the nervous breakdown he suffered when he returned from the battlefield. The paper then points out that, although their setting and main plot differ, his two short stories, "The Stranger" and "A Perfect Day for Bananafish", have many common elements. The paper also relates that both texts have as main characters young men who recently returned from the war suffering from psychological stress. The paper concludes that, in both stories, war is seen as more than a mere experience of death and anguish; it is indicative of inhumanity, corruption and extreme violence as opposed to the world of innocence, which infancy represents.
From the Paper:"Thus, the stories converge in a few points, the most important of which being the former soldier's emotional stress after the war and the refuge they try to take in the innocent world of the two girls, Sybil and Mattie. Thus, Babe notices with surprise the beautiful way in which his little sister makes a playful jump from the curve of the highway to its surface and listens to her innocent babble about some plays they could go and see. The apparently nonsense talk of the child is the most important part of the story as it stands in contrast with the crimes of the war."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Alsen, Eberhard. "New Light on the Nervous Breakdowns of Salinger's Sergeant X and Seymour Glass." CLA Journal 45, no. 3 (2002): 379-87.
- Blotner, Joseph L. and Frederick L. Gwynn. The Fiction of J.D. Salinger. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958
- Cotter, James Finn. "A Source for Seymour's Suicide: Rilke's Voices and Salinger's Nine Stories," in Papers on Language and Literature, Vol. 25, No. 1(1989): 83-98.
- Lane, Gary. "Seymour's Suicide Again: A New Reading of J. D. Salinger's 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish"'. Studies in Short Fiction. Vol. X, No. 1(1973):27-34.
- Salinger, J.D. Nine Stories. New York: Bantam, 1964
Cite this Book Review:
J. D. Salinger's War Fiction (2008, July 06) Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/j-d-salinger-war-fiction-105347/
"J. D. Salinger's War Fiction" 06 July 2008. Web. 16 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/j-d-salinger-war-fiction-105347/>