Franny And Zooey Essay

1505 words - 6 pages

J.D. Salinger undertones a typical American family's clash with religion in the novella Franny and Zooey. In this novella, he uses a great deal of dialogue and explores family interaction to stress religous confusion. In the "Franny" section, all the action takes place in the restaurant with Lane and Franny. This section is used primarily as foreshadowing and exposition to the "Zooey" section and the problems they encounter during it. In "Zooey", almost all the interaction takes place in the bathroom between Zooey and his mom or in the living room with Zooey and Franny. Franny is deeply depressed and confused about her life and religion's role in her life. Mrs. Glass is extremely confused with her children's problems because, unlike her children, she has never experienced strife with religion. Her children were all negatively affected by religion, especially her youngest two. This suffering is shown through the dialogue of Mrs. Glass and her children. Salinger uses the Glass family's interaction and dialogue to portray an American family's religious crises. Through his works, Salinger's reflects his own eccentricity.Leslie M. Pendelton said in Masterplots "Salinger's works have been compared to that of William Faulkner, Ernest Hemmingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald" (2425). In Masterplots Pendelton says, "The character of Buddy has been identified as the alter-ego of Salinger, who is known to be a heavily autobiographical writer, and who has been accused of being self-indulgent and preachy, especially in the later works introduced by Franny and Zooey" (2425)."Salinger shows marvelous sensitivity to the young, to the language, and to the fraudulence of contemporary America" ,said Stanly Young in Contemporary Literary Criticism. (463) Pendelton thinks that Salinger is regarded, whether critically or reverentially, as the literary force from the beat era to capture the spirit and speak to the youth of America (2425). This is why many readers are undecided about the book.Donald Newlove says in Contemporary Literary Criticisms, "I have very mixed feelings about Franny and Zooey" (463). This novella established a new kind of writing for Salinger. Katherine Edwards stated in Contemporary Literary Criticism, "With this novel, Salinger took a marked turn from focusing on action, structure, and humor to a preoccupation with monologue, character development, and seriousness" (465)."Salinger tries to gradually reveal the complex nature of otherwise static characters. Franny and Zooey is primarily concerned with the various trials of adolescence: alienation, loss of innocence, the obscenity of modern life, the search for meaning, and the redeeming power of love" ,claims Paul Gibson (Contemporary Literary Criticism 464).It is in "Zooey" that the discourse and detail take the place of plot and structure. The religious undertone is shown by the Glass family's interaction and...

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