Franny And Zooey 2 Essay, Research Paper
Franny and Zooey
Franny and Zooey written by J.D. Salinger raises questions about a twenty year old girl trying to find herself spiritually. There are two main characters in this book. The first one is named Franny who is an intellectually mature and smart young adult who tries to attain spiritual purification. She believes this purification can be reached by repeating the “Jesus prayer” as cure to the superficiality and corruptness of life. Franny then suffers a nervous breakdown. The second main character is Zooey, who is Franny s older brother. Zooey shows himself to be an emotionless, cold person that is only trying to help is sister at the urging of his mother.
Through this book Salinger is trying to convey the main point that spirituality can be found in many ways over time. You don t need to stress over finding yourself at a young age. Throughout the book Franny is making assumptions that everyone is egotistical and self-seeking. This idea is further emphasized through a conversation Franny has with her boyfriend, Lane, during a meal. Lane was speaking now as someone does who has been monopolizing conversation for a good quarter of an hour or so and who believes he has just hit a stride where his voice can do absolutely no wrong (11). Later on in the book Salinger brings about the thought that spirituality can be found over time, by introducing the hard-nosed character Zooey. He becomes the psychologist that breaks her apart (due to his dislike for Franny s irrational behavior), and mends her back together, while also giving her the understanding that there are decent people in the world. While helping Franny with her problem I believe Zooey got a better understanding of religion too. He has the ability to put everything in perspective and see things with an open mind. During the book Zooey sees a billboard with some quotes about religion and thinks about how it relates to Franny s situation. God instructs the heart, not by ideas but by pains and contradictions (178).
This book also brings to mind that Salinger wrote this book to cleanse the soul and bring about good things from a bad situation. In today s modern times, a popular book that does similar things to cleanse the soul is Chicken Soup for the Soul. A rather funny thing in this book is, Mrs. Glass (Franny and Zooey s Mother) keeps on insisting that Franny should eat the chicken soup that she made her. To supposedly cheer Franny up.
At the end of the book I believe Zooey finds out about himself, and understands his spirituality a little more. A man by the name of Seymour who Zooey worked with always told him to be funny for the fat lady. Don t you know who that goddamn secret yet? And don t you know listen to me now don t you know who that Fat Lady really is? . . . Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It s Christ himself. Christ Himself, buddy (201, 202).
Franny and Zooey is definatley one of the best book that I have read this year. I absolutely loved the ending, and it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase its not over till the fat lady sings. The ending was uplifting with a little zing incorporated, to make you think.