Study Guide

Franny and Zooey Writing Style

By J.D. Salinger

Writing Style

A verbal stunt pilot at his best

Though "Zooey" is narrated by Buddy Glass and "Franny" is – as far as we know – narrated by some uninvolved third person, the style and tone are both essentially continuous throughout, which is part of the reason why the two stories together can function effectively as a novel. Both stories reveal the show-offy style for which Salinger has often been criticized. Buddy's claim that he and his family "speak a kind of esoteric, family language, a sort of semantic geometry in which the shortest distance between any two points is a fullish circle" is a great example, as is his assertion that "the cards are stacked (quite properly, I imagine) against all professional aesthetes, and no doubt we all deserve the dark, wordy, academic deaths we all sooner or later die" (Zooey.1.3, Z.3.3).