Franny and Zooey, J. D. Salinger
Franny and Zooey J. D. Salinger
The following entry presents criticism of Salinger's novella Franny and Zooey. See also J. D. Salinger Chronology, J. D. Salinger Literary Criticism. (Introdution), and Volumes 1, 3.
Considered one of Salinger's most popular works, Franny and Zooey was initially published in the New Yorker as two separate stories entitled "Franny" (1955) and "Zooey" (1957). The novella is perceived to exemplify the themes and narrative techniques that characterize Salinger's writing as a whole: his penchant for sensitive, troubled young people; his disapproval of the shallowness and artificiality of modern American culture; his interest in Eastern mysticism; and his affinity for the nuances of language and dialogue. Though critical reaction to the novella has been varied, most scholars continue to acknowledge the artistic value of Franny and Zooey, Salinger's influence on the style and substance of other writers, and above all, his distinctive place in modern American literature, particularly among young readers.
Plot and Major Characters
The reissuing of Franny and Zooey as a novella made obvious what had already been clear to most of Salinger's readers, that "Zooey" was the conclusion or solution to "Franny," the story of a young woman's emotional and spiritual breakdown. Franny, the youngest of the Glass siblings, is an attractive college student who meets her Ivy League boyfriend, Lane Coutell, for the weekend of the Yale football game. During lunch at a fashionable restaurant, Franny feels increasingly dismayed by Lane's pretentiousness and self-absorption. Stating that she is sick of pedants and egotistical people, Franny tries to explain her enthusiasm for The Way of the Pilgrim, the story of a Russian peasant who learned how to pray the "Jesus prayer" without ceasing, until it became one with his heartbeat. Unable to make him understand or to fight her overwhelming feelings of distaste, Franny excuses herself from the table and faints in the bar. When she regains consciousness, she finds Lane anxious to get her to the rooming-house, where he hopes to join her later for a clandestine rendezvous. Alone, as Lane calls for a cab, Franny stares at the ceiling, soundlessly repeating the Jesus prayer.The latter part of the novella, originally published as the short story "Zooey," begins the morning following Franny's collapse. She is home in New York City, where her worried mother Bessie and her older brother Zooey, a celebrated television actor, attend to her. Later, a dialogue occurs between Zooey and Franny, in which Zooey alternately soothes and attacks Franny for her self-centeredness and inability to understand the true meaning of the Jesus prayer. Franny remains mired in her depression and asks to speak with Seymour, the oldest Glass sibling whose suicide left the family without its spiritual leader. Zooey enters Seymour's old room where he calls Franny on the telephone, pretending unsuccessfully to be their older brother Buddy. Zooey explains to her that she must disregard the phonies of the world and stick to her own high standards; she must believe, as Seymour had once told them when they starred regularly on a famous radio quiz show featuring child prodigies, that they are performing for the Fat Lady. Zooey suddenly realizes that the Fat Lady, Seymour's metaphor for the ugly and vulgar person in the audience, is Jesus Christ. Consoled, Franny falls peacefully asleep.
The widespread popularity of Salinger's work has generated much critical discussion regarding the various themes of Franny and Zooey. Many commentators have examined the work from a sociological perspective, contending that Franny and Zooey's struggle against a conformist and materialistic society is the predominant theme of the novella. Critics have explored also the religious aspects of Franny and Zooey, focusing on Franny's agonized search for God, which is highlighted in her attempts to understand and become one with the Jesus prayer. They discuss the themes of revelation and redemption, particularly in Zooey's vision of the Fat Lady as Christ, an insight that enables both Franny and Zooey to achieve spiritual peace. Several critics have examined Salinger's quest for innocence and purity, maintaining that he does not explore the issue of adult sexuality. More recently, commentators have focused on the theme of the lost idyll, the efforts of Salinger's characters to end their isolation and to recapture the joy and wisdom of childhood.
Critical commentary on Franny and Zooey varies widely. Admirers of Salinger's work praise the vividness and verisimilitude of his characters and their colloquial speech, whereas Salinger's detractors describe Franny and Zooey as false and sentimental, as well as meaningful only to those who are fans of Salinger's earlier work. Critics have discussed the excesses of Salinger's writing; "Zooey," in particular, has been regarded as flawed because of Salinger's unwillingness to reduce Zooey's garrulousness or excise his rantings about Buddhism. On the whole, "Franny" was better received. Critics praised "Franny" for its economical prose and realistic dialogue, its sensitive portrayal of Franny, and its attack on hypocrisy and superficiality of the college environment. Despite the mixed critical reception to Salinger's novella, Franny and Zooey was an immediate bestseller, particularly with young people who shared Franny and Zooey's yearning for spiritual fulfillment and uneasiness with the materialism and superficiality of their culture. Franny and Zooey, like Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, continues to draw both critical and popular attention and remains a favorite with high school and college audiences.
SOURCE: "Franny" and "Zooey," in The Fiction of J. D. Salinger, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958, pp. 46-52.
[In the following excerpt, Gwynn and Blotner provide a mixed assessment of the stories "Franny" and "Zooey."]
It is quite another story with "Franny," the best chapter in the Glass history largely because it is the shortest (10,000 words) and the most concentrated. Franny is a guest of Lane Coutell at an Ivy League football weekend in 1954, and preoccupied not with revelry but with religion. She tries to love Lane, but he is too concerned with himself, and she finds her own college teachers and friends and herself too self-centered to generate love. "I'm just sick of ego, ego, ego," she mourns. "My own and everybody else's. I'm sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It's disgusting—it is, it is."
Franny's only support in this crisis is a little devotional book, The Way of a Pilgrim, which focuses on a simple prayer to compose spiritual unrest: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." Franny finally admits to Lane that "if you keep saying that prayer over and over again—you only have to do it with your lips at first—then eventually what happens, the prayer becomes self-active." After she has fainted and been revived, the story ends with her lips soundlessly moving, presumably a...
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SOURCE: "Anxious Days for the Glass Family," in The New York Times Book Review, September 17, 1961, pp. 1, 52.
[In the following negative review, Updike contends that Salinger's characterization of the Glass family is inconsistent and idealistic]
Quite suddenly, as things go in the middle period of J. D. Salinger, his later, longer stories are descending from the clouds of old New Yorkers and assuming incarnations between hard covers. "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters," became available last year in Stories from the New Yorker 1950-1960, and now "Franny" and "Zooey" have a book to themselves. These two stories—the first medium-short, the second novella-length—are contiguous in time, and have as their common subject Franny's spiritual crisis.
In the first story, she arrives by train from a Smith-like college to spend the week-end of the Yale game at what must be Princeton. She and her date, Lane Coutell, go to a restaurant where it develops that she is not only unenthusiastic but downright ill. She attempts to explain herself while her friend brags about a superbly obnoxious term paper and eats frogs' legs. Finally, she faints, and is last seen lying in the manager's office silently praying at the ceiling.
In the second story, Franny has returned to her home, a large apartment in the East Seventies. It is the Monday following her unhappy Saturday. Only...
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SOURCE: "Salinger's Oasis of Innocence," in Studies in J. D. Salinger: Reviews, Essays, and Critiques of The Catcher in the Rye and Other Fiction, edited by Marvin Laser and Norman Fruman, The Odyssey Press, 1963, pp. 241-44.
[In the following essay, which was originally published in the New Republic in September 1961, Marple explores the theme of sexual innocence in Salinger's work.]
Salinger's first full length novel, The Catcher in the Rye, emerged after scattered fragments concerning his characters appeared during a seven year span. For some time now, it has been evident that Salinger's second novel may be developing in the same way. Salinger writes of Franny and Zooey. "Both stories are early, critical entries in a narrative series I am doing about a family of settlers in 20th Century New York, the Glasses."
"Franny" is a beautifully balanced short story. Franny, at twenty, is on the edge of "a tenth-rate nervous breakdown." There is a certain resemblance to the emotional crisis faced by Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. But Franny is not to be saved by a contact with innocence. Instead, she begins a weekend with her pseudo-intellectual lover, Lane Coutell.
In a brilliant scenè between the two at lunch, Franny speaks of the writings of a holy man. She tries to explain the Jesus Prayer:
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SOURCE: "Finally (Fashionably) Spurious," in National Review: A Journal of Fact and Opinion, Vol. XI, No. 20, November 18, 1961, pp. 341-42.
[In the following negative review of Franny and Zooey, Didion discusses the didactic quality of Salinger's prose.]
When I first came to New York during the fall of 1956, I went to a party on Bank Street which I remember with particular clarity for a number of reasons, not the least of them my surprise that no one present wished William Knowland were running for President. (I had only been in New York a few days, and the notion that Democrats might be people one met at parties had not yet violated what must have been, in retrospect, my almost impenetrable western innocence.) There were a couple of girls who "did something interesting" for Mademoiselle and there were several rather tweedy graduate students from Princeton, one of whom intimated that he had a direct wire to the PMLA, baby; there was, as well, a stunningly predictable Sarah Lawrence girl who tried to engage me in a discussion of J. D. Salinger's relationship to Zen. When I seemed unresponsive, she lapsed into language she thought I might comprehend: Salinger was, she declared, the single person in the world capable of understanding her.
Five years work certain subtle changes. I have become downright blasé about Democrats at parties; that particular Sarah...
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SOURCE: A review of Franny and Zooey, in The Canadian Forum, Vol. XLI, No. 490, November, 1961, pp. 189-90.
[In the following essay, Kirkwood offers a laudatory review of Franny and Zooey.]
In common with the rest of the literate world one finds oneself in considerable awe of J. D. Salinger's power to transmit so eloquently the mood of the modern intellectual dilemma and to transmute it into such intensely moving stories as Franny and Zooey.
The artfully deliberate accumulation of detail, the cinematic selection of props in the scene, the apparently endless tangents of talk diverging in all directions are drawn together so tautly that in the end we begin to feel that we too shall choke, along with his characters, on the very stench of too much self-consciousness.
The two stories in this book have already appeared in the New Yorker and are part of the Glass family saga appearing at intervals in that publication in the form of very long short stories. This time the two main characters are the famous Seymour's youngest brother and sister, two more of the erstwhile Quiz Kids.
In the first story Franny, twenty years old and beset by overwhelming spiritual woes, meets her conventional "young man" for an eastern college football week-end. Lane Coutell has all his outer trappings in order and his conversation is studded with the...
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SOURCE: "Up from Adolescence," in Partisan Review, Vol. XXIX, No. 1, Winter, 1962, pp. 127-31.
[In the following essay, Fiedler discusses the defining characteristics of Salinger's novella.]
I am not sure why I have liked so much less this time through a story which moved me so deeply when I first read it in The New Yorker four or five years ago. I mean, of course, "Zooey," to which "Franny" is finally an appendage, like the long explanatory footnote on pages 52 and 53, the author's apologetic statement on the jacket, the pretentiously modest dedication: all the gimmicks, in short, which conceal neither from him nor from us the fact that he has not yet made of essentially novelistic material the novel it wants to become.
It was, I guess, the novel which "Zooey," along with a handful of earlier stories, seemed to promise to which I responded with initial enthusiasm: the fat chronicle of the Glass family which might have caught once and for all the pathos and silliness of middle-class, middle-brow intellectual aspiration—the sad and foolish dream that certain families, largely Jewish, dreamed for their children listening to the Quiz Kids perform on the radio two long decades ago. For the sake of that novel, Salinger seemed at the point of making a new start, of breaking through certain bad habits picked up along the way from Good Housekeeping to The New Yorker....
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SOURCE: A review of Franny and Zooey, in Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter, 1962, pp. 65-71.
[In the following review, Bode analyzes the "medieval" quality of Salinger's novella.]
The most remarkable thing about Salinger's pair of stories is how old they are. Their kind is medieval at the very least. "Franny" is a Dialogue between Body and Soul, in terms not much changed since the Middle Ages. The only notable difference is an important one, however. Body and Soul seem here so disassociated that little give and take results. Though the Soul displays a tinge of respect for the expression of its antagonist, to the Body the dialogue as dialogue hardly exists at all. This disassociation Salinger makes profound. It is a matter not only of words but of attitudes and actions. Perhaps the very extent of the cleavage is what makes the story most modern. The medieval moralist, for instance, could paint his fat burgher in lurid colors but there was something appealing in his grossness, his triple chin, the sheer gusto of his appetites. Not so in "Franny." What strikes us here is how bitterly Salinger hates the Body.
A college man named Lane Coutell waits at the station for his girl, Franny Glass, a guest at the big football weekend. When she arrives he takes her to a restaurant for drinks and lunch. During their stay at the restaurant they bicker and Franny...
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SOURCE: "A Preface for 'Franny and Zooey'," in The Critic, Vol. XX, No. 4, February-March, 1962, pp. 25-8.
[In the following essay, McIntyre explores the role of religion in Franny and Zooey, concluding that Salinger's concern is not with society, but with spiritual matters.]
The publication of Franny and Zooey in hard-back has whipped up a critical farrago. Instead of manifesting an understanding, either by way of sympathy or intelligence, current critical opinion tends to regard these latter-day pieces as static emblems of a static art: they don't go any place. Although Little, Brown & Co. is asking four dollars for the two short stories, one would look in vain for an introduction or critical preface. But this does not surprise in view of the mixed reception. Which Salinger himself anticipated. In his "formal introduction" to "Zooey" he confesses: "People are already shaking their heads over me, and any immediate further professional use on my part of the word 'God,' except as a familiar, healthy American expletive, will be taken—or, rather, confirmed—as the very worst kind of name-dropping and a sure sign that I'm going straight to the dogs. Which is, of course, something to give any normal fainthearted man, and particularly writing man, pause. And it does. But only pause. For a point of objection, however eloquent, is only good as it is applicable." In view of the...
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SOURCE: "One Hand Clapping," in New Statesman, Vol. LXIII, No. 1630, June 8, 1962, pp. 831-32.
[In this essay, Kermode provides a negative assessment of Franny and Zooey, asserting that it is essentially duplicitious and therefore disappointing.]
It seems impossible to review Salinger without reviewing his audience at the same time. There are other accomplished rhetoricians in the field, but no Serious' modern novelist has quite this rapport with a large public. The two stories "Franny" and "Zooey" are seven and five years old; they appeared accessibly in the New Yorker, and have been widely discussed. But when they appear as Franny and Zooey in hard covers there is a marked excitement on both sides of the Atlantic. It doesn't seem to matter that these stories are merely samples, or—to quote the author—'early, critical entries in a narrative series I'm doing about a family of settlers in 20th-century New York, the Glasses.' It doesn't matter that other fragments of the big unrealized novel are already in print, nor that if the Glass saga ever gets written it may not contain these bits in their present form. Does it matter that "Zooey," the longer and more ambitious of the stories, is an almost total disaster? It should, for the audience is deeply involved in it.
Salinger, if we may for a moment peer through the novelist to the guru underneath, is...
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SOURCE: A review of Franny and Zooey, in The Minnesota Review, Vol. II, No. 4, Summer, 1962, pp. 553-57.
[In the following excerpt, Daniels perceives Zooey as one of Salinger's most complex and complete characters.]
Reading first a novel like Malamud's [A New Life], and turning then to Salinger's Franny and Zooey is almost bound to make a reader feel acute regrets at both sorts, I think. The writers of scope and breadth and open-end optimism (if that is what it's called) have left such gaps, such hollow centers; have contrived to emote about such public yet simultaneously nonobjective emotions; and have managed finally through their abuses to make of Compassion and Optimism stale jokes. So I think we feel (if stock characters and gestures in modern fiction have not too hopelessly dulled us) an enormous gratitude to Salinger for reminding us that characters in fiction can even now respond to, react against, agonize in their worlds in perfectly private, and still perfectly meaningful and relevant ways. And when the mystical Salinger can so often control his action with an almost eerie precision and intelligence it makes "us" feel that here is a genuine artist.
My own grudge against Salinger must stem from his being so clearly one of the two or three best writers to come along in the last decade. And I suppose that if the writers of breadth and...
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SOURCE: "J. D. Salinger and the Russian Pilgrim," in The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. VIII, Nos. 1 & 2, Summer-Winter, 1962-1963, pp. 111-26.
[In the following excerpt, Panichas determines the role played in Salinger's novella by the Russian text, The Way of a Pilgrim, maintaining that it provides a fuller understanding of the struggle and eventual enlightenment experienced by both Franny and Zooey.]
Critical estimates of J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey invariably contain brief references to the profound influence made on Franny by a little book of Russian Orthodox spirituality, The Way of a Pilgrim. It is obvious that Salinger attaches much significance to this work of Russian piety, and this is clearly registered in his depiction of Franny's response to the book. This influence, however, does not necessarily prove distinct structural affinities or parallels, but rather reveals a sensitive recognition on Salinger's part of the moving spirit and message of The Way of a Pilgrim. That is to say, Salinger, in showing the influence of this book on Franny, confesses at the same time a decidedly sympathetic and intuitive understanding of the Russian work. In addition, he seems to have found in it what might be called a transcending religious meaning and experience; and in his characterization of Franny he recreates the form, direction, and power of this...
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SOURCE: "J. D. Salinger's Closed Circuit," in Harper's Magazine, Vol. 225, No. 1349, October, 1962, pp. 46-8.
[In the following essay, McCarthy examines the phony and artificial nature of the characters of Franny and Zooey.]
Who is to inherit the mantle of Papa Hemingway? Who if not J. D. Salinger? Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye has a brother in Hollywood who thinks A Farewell to Arms is terrific. Holden does not see how his brother, who is his favorite writer, can like a phony book like that. But the very image of the hero as pitiless phony-detector comes from Hemingway. In Across the River and Into the Trees, the colonel gets a message on his private radar that a pock-marked writer he darkly spies across the room at Harry's Bar in Venice has "outlived his talents"—apparently some sort of crime. "I think he has the same pits on his heart and in his soul," confides the heroine, in her careful foreign English. That was Sinclair Lewis.
Like Hemingway, Salinger sees the world in terms of allies and enemies. He has a good deal of natural style, a cruel ear, a dislike of ideas (the enemy's intelligence system), a toilsome simplicity, and a ventriloquist's knack of disguising his voice. The artless dialect written by Holden is an artful ventriloquial trick of Salinger's, like the deliberate, halting English of Hemingway's waiters, fishermen, and...
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SOURCE: "J. D. Salinger and the Quest for Sainthood," in Four Spiritual Crises in Mid-Century American Fiction, University of Florida Press, 1963, pp. 36-43.
[In the following excerpt, Detweiler analyzes the spiritual crisis at the heart of Franny and Zooey.]
A study dealing with the individual religious experience cannot ignore that most discussed of crises in recent American fiction, namely, Franny Glass's slightly suspect nervous breakdown in Salinger's Franny and Zooey. Salinger even more than [Philip] Roth appears fascinated by the individual crisis and particularly by the crisis that has religious origin or result. Holden Caulfield's trouble in The Catcher in the Rye has been given theological interpretation, in later stories we learn that the suicide of Seymour Glass ("A Perfect Day for Bananafish") had religious connotations, as did the quasi-breakdown of Sergeant X in "For Esme—with Love and Squalor." . . .
Salinger cannot be interpreted in terms of a specific theological position. He reflects instead a typically American religious attitude which, at odds with the traditional creeds and swept by winds of doctrine, fashions a faith from pieces of popular movements. Speaking for the Glasses in the novel at hand, Zooey points out emphatically the diversity of religious conviction in his family. The gospel of Seymour is informed by Christianity (Protestant,...
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SOURCE: "Search for the Seer" in 7. D. Salinger, Twayne Publishers, 1963, pp. 139-60.
[In the following excerpt, French provides a mixed assessment of Salinger's novella, maintaining that it is "not distinguished art, but a self-improvement tract. "]
In January, 1955,I was employed to hold English classes by the University of Kentucky, where "contemporary literature" usually meant the writings of the Nashville "Fugitives" and their offspring, although some iconoclastic students read that upstart Faulkner. I was surprised, therefore, upon returning for the spring semester to find that a story by J. D. Salinger in the previous week's New Yorker had disturbed even the tranquillity of this bluegrass fastness as it had rocked more pretentiously in-the-swim academies in the fabled East.
True, much of the initial discussion of "Franny" revolved around a question that has greatly distressed the sensation-hating author, "Is Franny pregnant?" Wise heads nodded yes, and certainly her escort's concern about "testicularity" and the length of time between drinks supported the interpretation that she was; but I just couldn't accept the idea, because if this were simply the story of a girl's guilt feelings during a bout of morning sickness, her nervous hysteria and her escort's overbearing insensitivity were reduced to comic-strip simplicity by the story's erotic overtones. Besides, I could not...
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SOURCE: "Salinger's 'Franny': Homoerotic Imagery," in American Imago, Vol. 22, Nos. 1-2, Spring-Summer, 1965, pp. 57-76.
[In the following essay, Seitzman provides a psychoanalytic reading of "Franny. "]
Among current American writers of fiction, no other writer has exerted so deep an influence as J. D. Salinger on college students of the past decade. His novel Catcher in the Rye is possibly the most widely read book among the college set. His writings have also received serious study by critics. His recent Franny and Zooey is particularly rich in psychoanalytic import.
"Franny" is the story of a brief intellectual encounter between two young college students, Lane Coutell and his "date," Franny Glass. Both had been looking forward to the exciting weekend of the big Yale-Princeton game. A studied nonchalance covers Lane's excited anticipation as he waits for the train. He receives a warm kiss from his "date" when she meets him. An hour later, they are having lunch in a French restaurant. Immediately, the beautiful weekend with its promise of love begins to disintegrate. By the time Lane has finished his meal, Franny is having a "nervous breakdown," and the hope of a glorious time together has vanished. How did this happen?
The beginning of the debacle is apparent from the first word Lane utters after he has monopolized the conversation at the table...
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SOURCE: "A Cloister of Reality: The Glass Family," in J. D. Salinger, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1979, pp. 115-50.
[In the following excerpt, Lundquist traces the emotional development of the main characters of Franny and Zooey.]
The book [Franny and Zooey] actually consists of two long stories put together into what almost, but not quite, becomes a novel. An abrupt shift in narrative technique from omniscient point of view in the first story (originally published in The New Yorker, 29 January 1955) to having Buddy serve as the narrator in the second (also published in The New Yorker, 4 May 1957) gives the book an awkward structure. But despite the narrative shift, the two stories are best considered as one unit, not only because the second story serves to resolve the first, but also because the two of them taken together mark an essential change in Salinger's fiction. Through his use of the Glass family as an organizing concept for his vision, and through his increased reliance on Buddy as the narrator in that portrayal, Salinger attempts to more firmly capture the paradoxical splendor and squalor of life, while concurrently presenting a vision of twentieth-century America that is ultimately positive. The source of that vision is something that comes as a relief after the occasional overemphasis on the efficacy of Oriental thought in Nine Stories, and...
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SOURCE: "Franny," in Salinger's Glass Stories as a Composite Novel, The Whitston Publishing Company, 1983, pp. 21-32.
[In the following essay, Alsen notes the similarities between Salinger's "Franny" and "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," and asserts that "Franny" signals a new direction for Salinger in terms of thematic and narrative techniques.]
"Franny" was published in January of 1955, nine months before "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters." But it was probably written several years earlier, at a time when the plan of the Glass series had not yet taken shape, for it does not mention Seymour, nor does it mention that Franny's last name is Glass. Also, the story contains two pieces of information that are later contradicted in the story "Zooey" (1957). Franny tells Lane Coutell that she is taking a "Religion Survey" course and that she got the book, The Way of a Pilgrim, out of her college library after her instructor mentioned it to her. But in "Zooey" we learn that Franny had received religious training in Seymour's "home seminars" for many years. It is therefore highly unlikely that she would take an introductory religion course in college. And indeed, in "Zooey" she refers to the course not as a survey but as a "Religion seminar." Moreover, Zooey tells his mother that Franny did not get The Way of a Pilgrim and its sequel The Pilgrim Continued His Way from her college library...
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SOURCE: "The Glass Family," in J. D. Salinger: A Study of the Short Fiction, Twayne Publishers, 1991, pp. 63-89.
[In the following excerpt, Wenke explores the theme of personal identity in Franny and Zooey.]
With its sense of heightened expectation in relation to a facile reality, the opening scene of "Franny" evokes the spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ivy League undergraduate men wait at a train station for the arrival of their dates. Once the train pulls in, the football weekend—the opponent is Yale—can begin with its rounds of expensive lunches, cocktail parties, postgame receptions, and fancy dinners. It will be a carefully choreographed public exhibition. The college boys cannot wait to perform their parts in the pas de deux, a strained display of confected elegance. Behind his urbane narrator, Salinger directs all his contempt for Ivy League phonies into his mocking depiction of their pseudointellectuality. They speak in "voices that, almost without exception, sounded collegiately dogmatic, as though each young man, in his strident, conversational turn, was clearing up, once and for all, some highly controversial issue, one that the outside, non-matriculating world had been bungling, provocatively or not, for centuries." Salinger's general target is phoniness. More precisely, it is the pretentiousness associated with smug intellectuality, the presumption of analytical superiority.
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Starosciak, Kenneth. J. D. Salinger: A Thirty Year Bibliography, 1938-1968. St. Paul, Minn.: The Croixside Press, 1971, 63 p.
Lists Salinger's early uncollected stories and their places of publication.
Hamilton, Ian. In Search of J. D. Salinger. London: Heinemann, 1988, 222 p.
Biography that includes an account of Franny and Zooey's critical and commercial reception.
Antico, John. "The Parody of J. D. Salinger: Esme and the Fat Lady Exposed." Modern Fiction Studies XII, No. 3 (Autumn 1966): 325-400.
Discusses Salinger's ironic intention in the stories "For Esme" and "Zooey" and the influence of Zen Buddhism on his fictional technique.
Baskett, Sam S. "The Splendid/Squalid World of J. D. Salinger." Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 4, No. 1 (Winter 1963): 48-61.
Contends that "in the Glass family stories of the past several years [Salinger] has been constructing a complex edifice which is already of sufficient significance to deserve more than the casual and often condescending critical glances it has received."
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