American Literature | English Language and Literature
Nancy Hynes, OSB
Holden Caulfield and Franny Glass struggle with the phoniness and egotism that pervades society. They long to escape their problems and decide to run away -- he by becoming a hermit and she by retreating into spirituality through the Jesus Prayer. They soon realize the folly of their solution and through their pains and contradictions, they learn how to cope with social squalor. Holden realizes that he needs to love and accept people unconditionally, and Franny learns that she needs to shed her egotism and act altruistically. I believe J. D. Salinger outlines a spiritual coping strategy through Holden and Franny's struggles that leaves readers with a sense that they, too, can overcome phoniness and egotism through unconditional love and the loss of egotism.
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Rösch, B. Daniel, "Pains and Contradictions in The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey" (1998). Honors Theses, 1963-2015. 652.