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"Franny And Zooey" By Jd Salinger Fifty Years Later

1012 words - 4 pages

Franny and Zooey Fifty Years Later - Show how the book is now dated.The dictionary defines dated as “to show the age of; show to be old-fashioned.” J.D. Salinger’s two-part story, Franny and Zooey, considered so modern and “perhaps the best book by the foremost stylist of his generation,” fifty years after it’s original publication, now seems dated. Both the simplicity of the central characters’ emotional turmoil and the cultural references to food, smoking, technology, religion and entertainment make the story seem quaint and old-fashioned.In the first section of the book, Franny, the title character is visiting her boyfriend, Lane, at his Ivy League college for a football weekend. The clothes, the language, the food andLane’s arrangements for the weekend all seem to place the story in a much earlier time. He wears a camel’s hair coat and a cashmere muffler and Franny is wearing a sheared raccoon coat. She writes a letter to Lane, which he has saved, calling him “dearest Lane” and the letter is typed and mailed. They go to a restaurant for lunch and order martinis, escargot and frogs legs and both smoke cigarettes throughout the entire meal. Lastly, they’re invited to a pre-game cocktail party and he has reserved a room for her in some kind of boarding house. None of these things seem at all like a contemporary college experience where email, jeans, a tailgate party and spending the weekend together would be expected.Franny’s nervous breakdown and all the family activity that happens as a result also seem quaint. Franny faints in the restaurant with Lane and then, the next day, finds herself at home wrapped in an afghan in her families New York apartment. Franny is upset by what she sees as the phoniness of the people she knows and the college she is attending. She is searching for spirituality and is obsessed with a small book called “The Way of the Pilgrim” and the “Jesus Prayer.” In this day and age this sort of behavior seems more like a bad day or an identity crisis than a nervous breakdown. In our time we expect to see much more self-destructive behavior, cutting, drugs, eating disorders or violence. It is also strange that she would turn to her family and that they would see it as their job to cure her. Now, it would be more likely that Franny and her family would turn to a therapist, a hospital or some sort of clinical solution to Franny’s breakdown. It is very nice that Zooey, Franny’s younger brother, after some false starts, at the end finds the right story and words to improve the situation but it seems like a naïve conclusion.Franny is upset over everyone’s desire to be alike. In their lunch at the beginning of the book Lane is pleased with himself for “finding himself in the right place with an unimpeachably right looking girl.” (Salinger 11) Franny notices this and it annoys her.The 1950s, the time when this story...

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