Study Guide

Franny and Zooey Exploration

By J.D. Salinger


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 boyfriend, her concerned parents, and her tough-love brother. 25-year-old Zooey Glass addresses his own issues in work and family relationships. Through conversation and argument, the two siblings explore their shared concerns and take careful stock of their character. Both are fundamentally changed in the course of the novel as a result of this exploration.

Questions About Exploration

  1. What does Franny learn in "Franny"? In "Zooey"? And how does she learn in each of these stories?
  2. What physical changes does Franny undergo in these two stories, and what sort of emotional or spiritual changes might these changes reflect?
  3. While explaining the religious books to his mother, Zooey tells her that a person is supposed to first practice the prayer under the supervision of a guru. Who, if anyone, acts as Franny's guru in this story? Zooey? Buddy? Seymour?
  4. What does Franny mean when she says that she wants to talk to Seymour? Why does she want to talk to him instead of Buddy? She obviously knows that he's dead, so why ask to talk to him?

Chew on This

Franny and Zooey is the story of Franny's spiritual enlightenment.

Though Franny's journey is in the forefront of this novel, Zooey, too, makes a spiritual journey.