Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Manhattan. Borough of New York City that seems to be a place where much is offered. In reality, however, this is not the case. Wintertime has traditionally reflected death, and in the Glass house it has been winter for seven years; Seymour’s death haunts the other characters, who have not yet recovered from his passing. J. D. Salinger knows Manhattan well, having lived there through most of his early publishing life. The fact that he does not go into detail about the city the way he does in Catcher in the Rye (1951) reflects his assertion in this novel that people are more important than places. Franny and Zooey, for the most part, could take place anywhere.

Glass living room

Glass living room. At once homey and forbidding, the Glass living room is a reflection of the Glasses themselves. The house sits a story higher than the school across from it, suggesting the Glasses’ superiority in things intellectual (all the Glass children have been on the quiz show “It’s a Wise Child”). All the furniture is marred in one way or another and does not match, just as Zooey and Franny do not match. Even though it is bright and sunny, the light brings out the worst in the living room (stains from pets, for example). As wonderful as it is outside, Franny and Zooey stay inside as if trying to keep the outside world from crashing in on them.

Glass bathroom


(The entire section is 526 words.)