Monday, January 25, 2010


I had my class of 8 Mexican high school students read "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by J.D. Salinger last week, and today we discussed it. Since some kids are using English hour to do independent study to help them graduate, I only had three students today, ages 15 and 16. I found it very interesting that none of them got any of the sexual references in the story. All thought the protagonist, Seymour Glass, was a nice guy hanging out with a little girl on a beach.

Then we talked about the bananafish which goes into a hole and gluts itself. Then I read to them, slowly, these lines, He took Sybil´s ankles in his hands and pressed down and forward. The float nosed over the top of a wave. The water soaked Sybil´s blonde hair, but her scream was full of pleasure.

They looked up at me, eyes wide. "Ooooh!"

These are not unsophisticated kids. But they didn´t get the creepy feeling I got reading about Seymour and Sybil on the beach. Maybe it takes being a parent.

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