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Themes

The Glass family members featured in Franny and Zooey are, for the most part, antisocial. Even the text's authorial tone takes on the typical Glass family cynicism. The novel argues that college culture is snobby, materialistic, and pedantic. The main characters feel as though most people are not worth knowing. Still, the novel's ending seems to redeem its judgmental tone; Franny and Zooey Glass conclude that everyone deserves love and respect even if they appear egotistical and shallow.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. It's clear that Lane is with Franny because she's the right kind of girl (pretty, well-dressed, etc.). But why is Franny dating Lane? What does she see in him?
  2. What does Zooey think of psychotherapy? Why is he so convinced that it's a bad idea for Franny? Why was it such a bad idea for Seymour?
  3. What reasons does Franny cite for dropping out of her play, and does it seem like she's being honest with herself (and Lane) on this issue?
  4. Why does Zooey dislike so many of the people he meets?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

It is Franny and Zooey's own faults that they cannot acclimate to a normal social environment.

It is Buddy and Seymour's fault that Franny and Zooey can not acclimate to a normal social environment.

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