Franny and Zooey
How we cite our quotes:
Franny saw that he was irritated, and to what extent, but, for the moment, with equal parts of self-disapproval and malice, she felt like speaking her mind. (Franny.2.23)
Franny may be dissatisfied with the way the world works, but she's equally dissatisfied with her own judgmental reaction to it.
She smiled at Lane – in a sense, genuinely – and at that moment a smile in return might at least have mitigated to some small extent certain events that were to follow, but Lane was busy affecting a brand of detachment of his own, and chose not to smile back. (Franny.2.34)
There's a real sadness and sense of regret in this authorial tone.
"I mean if he were a girl – somebody in my dorm, for example – he'd have been painting scenery in some stock company all summer. Or bicycled through Wales. Or taken an apartment in New York and worked for a magazine or an advertising company. It's everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so – I don't know – not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and – sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you're conforming just as much as everybody else, only in a different way." (Franny.3.16)
Salinger really nails this college-age angst. Who hasn't felt what Franny is describing here?