Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

"I may even do my term thing on her if I decide to go out for honors and if I can get the moron they assigned me as an advisor to let me. "Delicate Adonis is dying, Cytherea, what shall we do? Beat your breasts, maidens, and rend your tunics." Isn't that marvelous? She keeps doing that, too." (Franny.1.4)

Franny's admiration for Sappho lacks all the pretension of Lane's later discussion of Flaubert. She even calls her honors thesis "my term thing," avoiding what she finds to be pretentious nomenclature.

Quote #2

"Well, I don't know what they are around here, but where I come from, a section man's a person that takes over a class when the professor isn't there or is busy having a nervous breakdown or is at the dentist or something. He's usually a graduate student or something. Anyway, if it's a course in Russian Literature, say, he comes in, in his little button-down-collar shirt and striped tie, and starts knocking Turgenev for about a half hour. Then, when he's finished, when he's completely ruined Turgenev for you, he starts talking about Stendhal or somebody he wrote his thesis for his M.A. on. Where I go, the English Department has about ten little section men running around ruining things for people, and they're all so brilliant they can hardly open their mouths – pardon the contradiction. I mean if you get into an argument with them, all they do is get this terribly benign expression on their –" (Franny.2.23)

"The section man" is the epitome of everything that bothers Franny about the education system. She dislikes that these men are so bent on sounding brilliant that they destroy the beauty of real literary genius.

Quote #3

"I'm just so sick of pedants and conceited little tearer-downers I could scream." She looked at Lane. "I'm sorry. I'll stop. I give you my word. . . . It's just that if I'd had any guts at all, I wouldn't have gone back to college at all this year. I don't know. I mean it's all the most incredible farce." (Franny.2.34)

Franny tries to explain this to Lane, but he's not receptive to it. Later, she will make the same case to her brother Zooey, who actually does listen and understand.

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