Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11320
This essay examines J.D. Salinger’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time in the armed services, as it is apparently portrayed by his character Seymour Glass, through the application of psychoanalytical theories. After reviewing sources on PTSD and Salinger’s early short stories about Sgt. “Babe” Gladwaller, Sergeant X in “For Esmé with Love and Squalor,” and Seymour Glass in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” it became evident that all of these characters were suffering from what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder and that Seymour Glass was the severest case; this is evident due to his inability to assimilate into American Post-World War II society, and his desperate attempts at repressing his desires and memories from the war that still haunted him as well his creator. Various secondary sources, articles, texts and books will be used to emphasize the arguments that will be made. The first chapter of this essay will focus on the historical context in which Salinger wrote these stories. The second chapter will focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and its effect on J. D. Salinger. The third chapter will focus on the three elements of Freud’s model of the psyche, the id, the superego, and the ego and why Seymour decided to take his own life. The fourth chapter will be on J.D. Salinger’s influences and writing style. The last chapter will summarize my conclusions.
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