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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Family

The title characters in Franny and Zooey are a brother and sister who, as the result of their shared upbringing and education, are dealing with the same problems in rather similar ways. Family is s...

Spirituality

Salinger studied Zen Buddhism extensively, and his interest in Eastern religion, philosophy, and spirituality is reflected in Franny and Zooey. What's so interesting is that Salinger takes concepts...

Dissatisfaction

Franny and Zooey is the story of, among other things, a brother and sister largely dissatisfied with the world around them. Franny's dissatisfaction is focused around her world – college R...

Education

Title character Franny Glass has more than a few complaints about the college system. A student herself, Franny finds her professors to be egotistical, grad students to be condescending narcissists...

Love

Love is a subtle theme in Franny and Zooey; there is no discussion of it explicitly aside from the narrator's cryptic claim that his story "Zooey" is in fact a love story rather than a mystical sto...

Society and Class

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 cu...

Visions of America

Franny and Zooey takes a look at typical American culture in the 1950s through the eyes of those who strongly oppose it. From their vantage point of self-imposed social isolation, siblings Franny a...

Exploration

Franny and Zooey is the story of spiritual and personal exploration during the ever-volatile twenty-something years. Undergrad Franny Glass struggles with academic pretension, religion, her boyfrie...
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