Proceeding to the subject of bananas it is most necessary to determine in which way they ought by nature to be opened.
Article 1: Whether a Banana Ought To Be Opened Upon the Stem Side or the Bottom Side?
Objection 1: It is held most commonly and culturally acceptable to open bananas using the stem.
Objection 2: It would seem that a banana is best opened upon the stemmed side, both in terms of utility and experience. For the stem, being large and handelike, attracts the eye, provides a useful hold for opening said banana, and rewards the more violent partaker with a feeling of having vanquished the banana by snapping its neck.
Objection 3: Opening using the stem demonstrates our superiority to monkeys, for monkeys, irrational creatures, open by the bottom end of the banana, while we as rational beings are capable of intelligent decisions and therefore would tend to make superior choices, such as opening by the upper, stemmed side of said banana.
On the Contrary: It is not only reasonable, but simply better to open a banana upon the bottom or non-stemmed side.
I Answer That: The superiority of the bottom method of opening a banana can be proved in several ways.
Firstly, by Sacred Scripture, in which Our Lord reminds us that “the last will be first, and the first last.” We must not always confine ourselves to the popular view, taking for ourselves the obvious and highest mode of operation, but should not be afraid to go by that way which is, perhaps, unexpected and less noticeable.
Secondly, by common standards of cleanliness and efficiency. To open a banana by the lower end, one need only pinch the nub between thumb and forefinger to make a clean, simple split that facilitates peeling. This also leaves the stem perfectly centered atop the banana, rendering much simpler and less difficult the transportation and disposal of the banana peel, besides being aesthetically pleasing.
Thirdly, by the natural order and hierarchy of developmental progress. A banana consists of a curved shape, bent not quite so much as a semicircle but forming a gentle arc. At one end this arc connects by means of the stem to a cluster of various other bananas, ranging in number from a couple to a dozen or more. At the other end of the banana’s arc lies the “bottom”, as it is called herein, upon which the banana flower would previously be found to exist. Now, flowers are the fullness and completion of the development and growth that begins at the stem of a flower-bearing plant. Therefore, since a stem is only a means towards an end, namely the fruit and its flower, and since the end of a thing is greater than its means, the so-called “bottom” end of a banana is greater than the top and should be honored by opening it upon that side.
Reply to Objection 1: While it is true, by my experience, that most people of the popular culture tend to open bananas by the stem, this is no reason to suppose that this is the correct choice. For as Our Lord says, “the way is easy, that leads to destruction . . . and the way is hard, which leads to life, and those who find it are few.” In fact, it might thus be offered that the very unpopularity of opening bananas by the bottom side proves that this method of action is the better one.
Reply to Objection 2: It has already been stated that the handle is better used as a means for transporting a used banana, sticky as it is, than for opening a fresh one. So it should be saved for this purpose, which has also been said to lead to a better appearance. Also, though the stem may appear to make a better handle, it is really not any more useful than are the forefinger and thumb, which must be used anyway to grab said stem. It is much simpler to pinch the bottom end and immediately open the fruit than to grib and carefully crack the stem atop. In addition, it is true that by opening by the stem, if done incorrectly, one poses a risk of smooshing the top of the banana and ruining any attempt at making it pleasing to the eye. And so far as pleasure derived from violence is involved, such pleasure can easily become a vice and should not be encouraged.
Reply to Objection 3: Irrational creatures though they are, it is in the God-given, instinctual nature of monkeys to open bananas by the bottom end. Whereas we human beings, in the aftermath of the Fall, possess a fallen and imperfect nature which can negatively affect our judgement and actions. Thus, the use of reason does not guarantee that we will make the better choice, as in the case of peeling a banana differently from the way monkeys do. Instead, we must have the humility to learn from the instincts which the Lord has bestowed upon the lower creatures and remain open to imitating some of their nobler acts, such as defending the young, taking each day as its own gift of God, and peeling bananas by the bottom end.