Study Guide

Franny and Zooey Quotes

  • Family

    Lane himself lit a cigarette as the train pulled in. Then, like so many people, who, perhaps, ought to be issued only a very probational pass to meet trains, he tried to empty his face of all expression that might quite simply, perhaps even beautifully, reveal how he felt about the arriving person. (Franny.1.8)

    Lane's reticence in interacting with Franny is contrasted with her family's genuine, at times overbearing, attempts to help her in "Zooey."

    "They're not," Franny said. "That's partly what's so awful. I mean they're not real poets. They're just people that write poems that get published and anthologized all over the place, but they're not poets." (Franny.2.44)

    We find out, in other Glass family stories, that Franny's brother Seymour was a poet. We have to think that her definition of a "real poet" was largely influenced by Seymour's own thinking on the matter.

    "I know this much, is all," Franny said. "If you're a poet, you do something beautiful. I mean you're supposed to leave something beautiful after you get off the page and everything. The ones you're talking about don't leave a single, solitary thing beautiful." (Franny.2.51)

    Franny and her brother Zooey both discuss beauty with great care and attention.

    "I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I respect." (Franny.2.53)

    You can start to see why some people find the Glass family to be incredibly judgmental.

    "And the worst part was I was usually sort of ashamed to be in the plays I was in. Especially in summer stock." She looked at Lane. "And I had good parts, so don't look at me that way. It wasn't that. It was just that I would've been ashamed if, say, anybody I respected – my brothers, for example – came and heard me deliver some of the lines I had to say. I used to write certain people and tell them not to come." (Franny.3.30)

    Franny earlier claimed that she had a hard time meeting people she could respect, and this is the only time she mentions her brothers. She clearly esteems them more highly than anyone else in her life.

    "Against my better judgment, I feel certain that somewhere very near here – the first house down the road, maybe – there's a good poet dying, but also somewhere very near here somebody's having a hilarious pint of pus taken from her lovely young body." (Zooey.3.6)

    This is similar to Zooey's later sentiment when he watches the dog outside his window reunite with his master. Both brothers have recognized that there is humor, beauty, and joy in the world, despite their personal tragedies and endless cynicism.

    THE last, the under, page of the four-year-old letter was stained a sort of off-cordovan color, and it was torn in two places along the folds. Zooey, finished reading, treated it with some little care as he put the letter back into page-one order. (Zooey.4.1)

    This letter shows that, four years ago, Zooey was struggling with the same decisions that Franny now faces.

    Whatever her taste in television-play titles, or her aesthetics in general, a flicker came into her eyes – no more than a flicker, but a flicker – of connoisseurlike, if perverse, relish for her youngest, and only handsome, son's style of bullying. For a split second, it displaced the look of all-round wear and, plainly, specific worry that had been on her face since she entered the bathroom. (Zooey.4.46)

    Here we see that Zooey's comments are just teasing. The author makes sure we don't dislike his character for the way he talks to his mother.

    "You either take to somebody or you don't. If you do, then you do all the talking and nobody can even get a word in edgewise. If you don't like somebody – which is most of the time – then you just sit around like death itself and let the person talk themself into a hole. I've seen you do it."

    Zooey turned full around to look at his mother. He turned around and looked at her, in this instance, in precisely the same way that, at one time or another, in one year or another, all his brothers and sisters (and especially his brothers) had turned around and looked at her. Not just with objective wonder at the rising of a truth, fragmentary or not, up through what often seemed to be an impenetrable mass of prejudices, clichés, and bromides. But with admiration, affection, and, not least, gratitude. (Zooey.5.32-3).

    Zooey looks at his mother with gratitude because she understands him in a way that no one outside their family ever could. Read Bessie's "Character Analysis" for more.

  • Spirituality

    She was wearing a sheared-raccoon coat, and Lane, walking toward her quickly but with a slow face, reasoned to himself, with suppressed excitement, that he was the only one on the platform who really knew Franny's coat. He remembered that once, in a borrowed car, after kissing Franny for a half hour or so, he had kissed her coat lapel, as though it were a perfectly desirable, organic extension of the person herself. (Franny.1.9)

    This passage reveals Lane's materialism; he confuses Franny with her coat because he so highly values material things.

    He didn't get an answer. Franny was staring at the little blotch of sunshine with a special intensity, as if she were considering lying down in it. (Franny.2.29)

    This line draws our attention to the setting of "Franny," the inside of a restaurant. Franny is drawn to something natural, as opposed to the artificiality and materialism of the fancy restaurant Lane picked. For more on this, check out our discussion of "Setting."

    "The little book in my bag?" Franny said. She watched him disjoint a pair of frogs' legs. Then she took a cigarette from the pack on the table and lit it herself. "Oh, I don't know," she said. "It's something called 'The Way of a Pilgrim.' " She watched Lane eat for a moment. "I got it out of the library. This man that teaches this Religion Survey thing I'm taking this term mentioned it." She dragged on her cigarette. "I've had it out for weeks. I keep forgetting to return it." (Franny.4.5)

    Franny hides from Lane the importance of the book to her and even where she got it (Zooey later reveals that she got it from Seymour and Buddy's room). She's not comfortable sharing with him something that is very important to her.

    "You haven't touched your goddam sandwich," Lane said suddenly. "You know that?" (Franny.4.18)

    Lane, the materialist, attacks his food, while Franny, who is rejecting materialism, refuses to touch hers.

    I know the difference between a mystical story and a love story. I say that my current offering isn't a mystical story, or a religiously mystifying story, at all. I say it's a compound, or multiple, love story, pure and complicated. (Zooey.1.2)

    Yet what Zooey teaches Franny in the end seems to argue that there is no difference between a love story and a mystical story.

    "What? Who doesn't? Exactly what don't I think isn't beautiful?" A minor groundswell sounded behind the shower curtain, as though a rather delinquent porpoise were suddenly at play. "Listen, I don't care what you say about my race, creed, or religion, Fatty, but don't tell me I'm not sensitive to beauty. That's my Achilles' heel, and don't you forget it. To me, everything is beautiful. Show me a pink sunset and I'm limp, by God. Anything. 'Peter Pan.' Even before the curtain goes up at 'Peter Pan,' I'm a goddam puddle of tears." (Zooey.4.47)

    Zooey continues his thought until it seems he's just sarcastically joking around, but we sense there's some genuine truth here. Zooey does take beauty seriously (as we see later by his reaction at the window, as he watches the dog outside). Read more about this in "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory."

    "God damn it," he said, "there are nice things in the world – and I mean nice things. We're all such morons to get so sidetracked. Always, always, always referring every goddam thing that happens right back to our lousy little egos." (Zooey.6.83)

    Zooey accuses himself and Franny of being guilty of the very sort of egotism that Franny condemns in those around her.

    The cardboard that he stopped at had been written on in February, 1938. The handwriting, in blue-lead pencil, was his brother Seymour's:

    My twenty-first birthday. Presents, presents, presents. Zooey and the baby, as usual, shopped lower Broadway. They gave me a fine supply of itching powder and a box of three stink bombs. I'm to drop the bombs in the elevator at Columbia or "someplace very crowded" as soon as I get a good chance. (Zooey.7.43-4)

    Through their letters and diary entries (and even narration), Buddy and Seymour both seem to have an almost spiritual presence in this story. For more on their roles at mentors, check out "Character Roles."

  • Dissatisfaction

    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?

    And at that instant, more than just mentionably, had Zooey seen her face, and particularly her eyes, he might have had a strong impulse, passing or not, to recall, or reconstruct, or reinflect the greater part of his share of the conversation that had passed between them – to temper it, to soften it. (Zooey.4.73)

    This is the same tone found in a similar line in "Franny," as though the narrators share this sense of regret or sadness. For more on this, check out "Tone."

    …two of her sons were dead, one by suicide (her favorite, her most intricately calibrated, her kindest son), and one killed in World War II (her only truly lighthearted son)… (Zooey.4.73)

    The author does not let us forget the tragedy that hangs over the Glass family.

    His lathering technique was very much out of the ordinary, although identical in spirit with his actual shaving technique. That is, although he looked into the mirror while he lathered, he didn't watch where his brush was moving but, instead, looked directly into his own eyes, as though his eyes were neutral territory, a no man's land in a private war against narcissism he had been fighting since he was seven or eight years old. (Zooey.5.1)

    Zooey struggles against materialism and shallowness the same way his sister Zooey does.

    "Why do I go?" Zooey said, without looking around. "I go mostly because I'm tired as hell of getting up furious in the morning and going to bed furious at night. I go because I sit in judgment on every poor, ulcerous bastard I know. Which in itself doesn't bother me too much. At least, I judge straight from the colon when I judge, and I know that I'll pay like hell for any judgment I mete out, sooner or later, one way or another. That doesn't bother me so much. But there's something – Jesus God – there's something I do to people's morale downtown that I can't stand to watch much longer. I can tell you exactly what I do. I make everybody feel that he doesn't really want to do any good work but that he just wants to get work done that will be thought good by everyone he knows – the critics, the sponsors, the public, even his children's schoolteacher. That's what I do. That's the worst I do." (Zooey.6.57)

    Like Franny, Zooey has to find the right way to deal with his judgment and dissatisfaction. He will later tell his sister that the trick is to not make it personal; but he seems to be failing on this account himself. For more on Zooey's advice to Franny, check out his "Character Analysis."

    "Meet anybody for a drink. Oh, he had to go out last night and meet this television writer for a drink downtown, in the Village and all. That's what started it. He says the only people he ever really wants to meet for a drink somewhere are all either dead or unavailable. He says he never even wants to have lunch with anybody, even, unless he thinks there's a good chance it's going to turn out to be Jesus, the person – or the Buddha, or Hui-neng, or Shankaracharya, or somebody like that. (Zooey.8.37)

    Zooey's judgmental cynicism prevents him from forming meaningful relationships.

  • Education

    "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.

    "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.

    "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.

    "The fact is, if you want to know, I can't help thinking you'd make a damn site better-adjusted actor if Seymour and I hadn't thrown in the Upanishads and the Diamond Sutra and Eckhart and all our other old loves with the rest of your recommended home reading when you were small." (Zooey.3.4)

    Is Buddy right? Would they have been better off?

    "With these two things on my mind, I thought as I was driving home from the supermarket that at long last I could write to you and tell you why S. and I took over your and Franny's education as early and as highhandedly as we did. We've never put it into words for you, and I think it's high time one of us did. But now I'm not so sure I can do it. The little girl at the meat counter is gone, and I can't quite see the polite face of the little doll on the plane. And the old horror of being a professional writer, and the usual stench of words that goes with it, is beginning to drive me out of my seat. It seems terribly important to try, though." (Zooey.3.7)

    It might also be that this is something that cannot be explained in logical terms – something which does not belong to the realm of knowledge.

    "He was telling me he used to listen to Franny and me every week when he was a kid – and you know what he was doing, the little bastard? He was building me up at Franny's expense. For absolutely no reason except to ingratiate himself and show off his hot little Ivy League intellect." Zooey put out his tongue and gave a subdued, modified Bronx cheer. "Phooey," he said, and resumed using his razor. "Phooey, I say, on all white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines. Give me an honest con man any day." (Zooey.5.31)

    Zooey's view of college pretension is right on par with Franny's.

    "On top of everything else," he said immediately, "we've got 'Wise Child' complexes. We've never really got off the goddam air. Not one of us. We don't talk, we hold forth. We don't converse, we expound. At least I do." (Zooey.6.63)

    Zooey is right, but this hasn't really stopped the Glass family from learning from or communicating with each other.

    "What happened was, I got the idea in my head – and I could not get it out – that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? […] Sometimes I think that knowledge – when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway – is the worst of all. […] I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while – just once in a while – there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned!" (Zooey.6.70)

    What does Franny think is the difference between these two things, wisdom and knowledge? Why is wisdom so much more valuable in her mind?

  • Love

    The letter was written – typewritten – on pale-blue notepaper. It had a handled, unfresh look, as if it had been taken out of its envelope and read several times before: (Franny.1.3)

    Lane obviously cares for Franny, as we see by the number of times that he's read and re-read her letter, yet he doesn't reveal this to her.

    All my love,
    FRANNY
    XXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXX (Franny.1.4)

    Franny lacks all the reticence that characterizes Lane.

    "I've just felt so destructive all week. It's awful, I'm horrible."

    "Your letter didn't sound so goddam destructive."

    Franny nodded solemnly. She was looking at a little warm blotch of sunshine, about the size of a poker chip, on the tablecloth. "I had to strain to write it," she said.

    Lane started to say something to that, but the waiter was suddenly there to take away the empty Martini glasses. "You want another one?" Lane asked Franny. (Franny.2.25-8)

    Franny has just delivered a dagger of a confession to Lane – that it took effort on her part to sound loving in her letter – and all he does is focus on something material.

    "You want to use this a second?" Lane said abruptly. He was holding out a folded, white handkerchief. His voice sounded sympathetic, kind, in spite of some perverse attempt to make it sound matter-of-fact. (Franny.3.41)

    We can see the author's judgment of Lane in the use of the word "perverse."

    "He meets this one married couple, on one of his journeys, that I love more than anybody I ever read about in my entire life," Franny said. (Franny.4.13)

    Though she tries to play the book off as unimportant at first, Franny can't help but reveal how much it means to her.

    "You might like this book," she said suddenly. "It's so simple, I mean." (Franny.4.15)

    Franny makes herself so vulnerable here; she's really being honest with Lane for the first time.

    I know the difference between a mystical story and a love story. I say that my current offering isn't a mystical story, or a religiously mystifying story, at all. I say it's a compound, or multiple, love story, pure and complicated. (Zooey.1.2)

    What are the compound or multiple loves to which Buddy refers here?

    "I like to ride in trains too much. You never get to sit next to the window any more when you're married." (Zooey.5.61)

    There's an innocence to Zooey's character that keeps him wholly human, despite his genius intelligence and off-putting, cynical judgments.

  • Society and Class

    Lane, who knew Sorenson only slightly but had a vague, categorical aversion to his face and manner, put away his letter and said that he didn't know but that he thought he'd understood most of it. "You're lucky," Sorenson said. "You're a fortunate man." His voice carried with a minimum of vitality, as though he had come over to speak to Lane out of boredom or restiveness, not for any sort of human discourse. (Franny.1.7)

    There is a phoniness and shallowness to most social interactions (outside of the very genuine Glass family) in this text.

    Lane had sampled his, then sat back and briefly looked around the room with an almost palpable sense of well-being at finding himself (he must have been sure no one could dispute) in the right place with an unimpeachably right-looking girl – a girl who was not only extraordinarily pretty but, so much the better, not too categorically cashmere sweater and flannel skirt. (Franny.2.1)

    This is the problem with Lane and Franny's relationship. He likes her because she's the right kind of girl for him to be seen with; not because of who Franny actually is.

    Lane was speaking now as someone does who has been monopolizing conversation for a good quarter of an hour or so and who believes he has just hit a stride where his voice can do absolutely no wrong. (Franny.2.2)

    This is the sort of ego that Franny so despises.

    The waiter left. Lane watched him leave the room, then looked back at Franny. She was shaping her cigarette ash on the side of the fresh ashtray the waiter had brought, her mouth not quite closed. Lane watched her for a moment with mounting irritation. Quite probably, he resented and feared any signs of detachment in a girl he was seriously dating. In any case, he surely was concerned over the possibility that this bug Franny had might bitch up the whole weekend. (Franny.2.34)

    This is exactly how Zooey later interprets Lane, as someone who is more concerned about his weekend running smoothly than about Franny's well-being.

    Franny quickly tipped her cigarette ash, then brought the ashtray an inch closer to her side of the table. "I'm sorry. I'm awful," she said. "I've just felt so destructive all week. It's awful, I'm horrible." (Franny.2.25)

    Franny later complains that Zooey is being destructive rather than helpful. This might have something to do with Zooey's discussion of taking things too personally and actually hating people, which fits with Franny's dislike of her own destructive judgments.

    "Sometimes I could almost murder Buddy for not having a phone," she said. "It's so unnecessary. How can a grown man live like that – no phone, no anything? No one has any desire to invade his privacy, if that's what he wants, but I certainly don't think it's necessary to live like a hermit." She stirred irritably, and crossed her legs. "It isn't even safe, for heaven's sake! Suppose he broke his leg or something like that. Way off in the woods like that. I worry about it all the time." (Zooey.4.32)

    Buddy shares his siblings' antisocial traits. None of the Glass children has been able to acclimate themselves to a normal, social environment.

    "Who in hell is Lane?" he asked. Unmistakably, it was the question of a still very young man who, now and then, is not inclined to admit that he knows the first names of certain people. (Zooey.5.23)

    Zooey, despite his spirituality and wisdom, still has the pride and arrogance of a typical young man.

    "Go ahead," Zooey said, dragging on his cigar. "I'll interpret for you."

    She shuddered. "It was just horrible. So spidery. I've never had such a spidery nightmare in my entire life."

    "Spiders, eh? That's very interesting. Very significant. I had a very interesting case in Zurich, some years back – a young person very much like yourself, as a matter of fact –" (Zooey.12-14)

    Salinger is clearly mocking Freudian analysis here. Such dream analysis was a part of the pop culture mainstream at the time.

  • Visions of America

    The rest were standing around in hatless, smoky little groups of twos and threes and fours inside the heated waiting room, talking in voices that, almost without exception, sounded collegiately dogmatic, as though each young man, in his strident, conversational turn, was clearing up, once and for all, some highly controversial issue, one that the outside, non-matriculating world had been bungling, provocatively or not, for centuries. (Franny.1.1)

    The narrator seems to share the same disdain for the typical college student that Franny later expresses.

    Lane, who knew Sorenson only slightly but had a vague, categorical aversion to his face and manner, put away his letter and said that he didn't know but that he thought he'd understood most of it. "You're lucky," Sorenson said. "You're a fortunate man." His voice carried with a minimum of vitality, as though he had come over to speak to Lane out of boredom or restiveness, not for any sort of human discourse. (Franny.1.7)

    Salinger's interpretation of normal human interaction is rather cynical.

    Lane was speaking now as someone does who has been monopolizing conversation for a good quarter of an hour or so and who believes he has just hit a stride where his voice can do absolutely no wrong. (Franny.2.2)

    This is the sort of ego that Franny so despises. What is she doing with this guy?

    At that moment, though, he chanced to look up from the table and see someone he knew across the room – a classmate, with a date. Lane sat up a bit in his chair and adjusted his expression from that of all-round apprehension and discontent to that of a man whose date has merely gone to the John, leaving him, as dates do, with nothing to do in the meantime but smoke and look bored, preferably attractively bored. (Franny.2.57)

    Lane becomes the stereotypical picture of college men, more concerned with how they look and who's looking that with anything of real consequence.

    "There's an unwritten law that people in a certain social or financial bracket can name-drop as much as they like just as long as they say something terribly disparaging about the person as soon as they've dropped his name – that he's a bastard or a nymphomaniac or takes dope all the time, or something horrible." (Franny.3.14)

    Franny's tone and judgment in this passage are very similar to the author's. Compare this to the passage at the start of "Franny" detailing the group of college men standing around at the train station.

    "All I know is I'm losing my mind," Franny said. "I'm just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else's. I'm sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It's disgusting – it is, it is. I don't care what anybody says." (Franny.3.38)

    Franny's view of the majority of people around her is more terrifying on account of her fear of becoming like them.

    TINA […] (Looks out window) I hate this rain. Sometimes I see me dead in it.

    RICK (quietly): My darling, isn't that a line from "A Farewell to Arms"?

    TINA (Turns, furious): Get out of here. Get out! Get out of here before I jump out of this window. Do you hear me?

    RICK (grabbing her): Now you listen to me. You beautiful little moron. You adorable, childish, self-dramatizing— (Zooey.4.5-8)

    Salinger is careful to illustrate the typical American culture of the day, and it would seem that his tone is somewhat mocking here. This almost reads like a parody of a typical dramatic scene.

    "Why? Because he is, that's all. Probably because it's paid off. I can tell you one thing. If he's worried about Franny at all, I'll lay odds it's for the crummiest reasons. He's probably worried because he minded leaving the goddam football game before it was over – worried because he probably showed he minded it and he knows Franny's sharp enough to have noticed. I can just picture the little bastard getting her into a cab and putting her on a train and wondering if he can make it back to the game before the half ended." (Zooey.5.29)

    We know from reading "Franny" that Zooey's vision of Lane as a typical, self-absorbed American college guy is accurate.

    "You just call in some analyst who's experienced in adjusting people to the joys of television, and Life magazine every Wednesday, and European travel, and the H-Bomb, and Presidential elections, and the front page of the Times, and the responsibilities of the Westport and Oyster Bay Parent-Teacher Association, and God knows what else that's gloriously normal – you just do that, and I swear to you, in not more than a year Franny'll either be in a nut ward or she'll be wandering off into some goddam desert with a burning cross in her hands." (Zooey.5.71)

    Zooey makes it clear that Franny is not looking to take up this sort of average, American life. Trying to force her into it would be disastrous.

  • Exploration

    "Oh, it's lovely to see you!" Franny said as the cab moved off. "I've missed you." The words were no sooner out than she realized that she didn't mean them at all. Again with guilt, she took Lane's hand and tightly, warmly laced fingers with him. (Franny.1.6)

    Franny is learning and changing throughout this story; she discovers her feelings about Lane as the plot progresses.

    She found herself looking at Lane as if he were a stranger, or a poster advertising a brand of linoleum, across the aisle of a subway car. Again she felt the trickle of disloyalty and guilt, which seemed to be the order of the day, and reacted to it by reaching over to cover Lane's hand with her own. She withdrew her hand almost immediately and used it to pick her cigarette out of the ashtray. (Franny.2.34)

    Franny finds herself torn between resenting Lane and feeling guilty for not loving him. These conflicting emotions make up the emotional tension of "Franny."

    She stopped, self-consciously, and put out her cigarette. For several minutes now, she had seemed to be losing color in her face. Suddenly, even her lipstick seemed a shade or two lighter, as though she had just blotted it with a leaf of Kleenex. (Franny.2.44)

    Franny physically changes through the course of this story, a change that parallels her emotional journey.

    Lane looked at her, then exhaled a thin, overly expressive stream of smoke down at his plate. "This is going to be a real little doll of a weekend," he said. "A chicken sandwich, for God's sake." (Franny.3.9)

    Franny has stopped playing the part of the right girl in the right place, which greatly bothers Lane.

    "I just quit, that's all," Franny said. "It started embarrassing me. I began to feel like such a nasty little egomaniac." She reflected. "I don't know. It seemed like such poor taste, sort of, to want to act in the first place. I mean all the ego. And I used to hate myself so, when I was in a play, to be backstage after the play was over. All those egos running around feeling terribly charitable and warm. Kissing everybody and wearing their makeup all over the place, and then trying to be horribly natural and friendly when your friends came backstage to see you. I just hated myself. . . . And the worst part was I was usually sort of ashamed to be in the plays I was in. Especially in summer stock." She looked at Lane. "And I had good parts, so don't look at me that way. It wasn't that. It was just that I would've been ashamed if, say, anybody I respected – my brothers, for example – came and heard me deliver some of the lines I had to say. I used to write certain people and tell them not to come." (Franny.3.30)

    Franny very recently quit the theater – it's clear that this story takes place as major changes are going down in Franny's life.

    Lane sat rather slouched in his chair, smoking, his eyes narrowed attentively at Franny's face. Her face was still pale, but it had been paler at other moments since the two had been in Sickler's. (Franny.4.21)

    Franny's face is less pale now that she is talking about the book – this is something that actually excites her, even seems to bring her to life.

    "I mean the point is did you ever hear anything so fascinating in your life, in a way? I mean it's so hard to just say it's absolute coincidence and then just let it go at that – that's what's so fascinating to me." (Franny.4.27)

    This is the first thing that Franny has been really genuinely excited about, rather than cynical towards, since she met Lane at the train station.

    For joy, apparently, it was all Franny could do to hold the phone, even with both hands. (Zooey.8.78)

    Zooey has acted as a sort of guide for Franny throughout this story; he is responsible for her reaction here.