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Franny's Behavioural Change in Salinger's Franny and Zooey Essay

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Jerome David Salinger’s Franny and Zooey is about a twenty-year-old college student Franny, who is seeking spirituality in her life. She is a member of the intelligent Glass family, whose children struggle with conforming to society after appearing on the television quiz show called It’s a Wise Child. Salinger’s novel is composed of two sections. The first section, Franny, deals with Franny explaining to her boyfriend her distaste of the college environment. The second section, Zooey, is the continuation of Franny where Franny discusses with her brother Zooey about feeling isolated from the people around her and finding spirituality in her life. In Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, the main character, Franny, undergoes a change in perspective as she tries to cope with the dissatisfaction of the world through spiritual beliefs. In the beginning, Franny is experiencing a deterioration in mental health due to her severe criticism of her college experience; she mindlessly turns to prayer in an attempt to resolve her difficulties, but her problems grow worse due to her lack of understanding of religion. Eventually, she comes to an understanding of the world as realizes the genuine meaning of her spiritual beliefs through listening to Zooey’s consoling advice.
In the first section, Franny is having a nervous breakdown as she expresses her misgivings towards college. At a restaurant with her boyfriend, she criticises her professors for letting section men, who are graduate students with “little button-down-collar shirt[s] and striped tie[s],” take over their classes when they are away (Salinger 14-15). She insists that the section men are “running around ruining things for people” by being conceited and not teaching literature properly...


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...ives (Salinger 202). Thus, Franny gains tranquility after understanding Zooey’s analysis of her spiritual beliefs that she must learn to accept others for who they are.
Franny and Zooey is spiritual novel that explores Franny’s journey on discovering the true meaning of her spiritual beliefs. In the beginning, she is having a mental breakdown due to her inability to cope with college; she attempts to resolve her problems by practicing spiritual beliefs but they worsens due to her lack of understanding. She is ultimately able to find the true definition of her spiritual beliefs when her brother Zooey intercedes her thoughts by explaining what her religious practices truly symbolize. She learns that the source of her problems is that she must come to accept the differences of others.



Works Cited

Salinger, J. D. Franny and Zooey. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991. Print.


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