Franny and Zooey and Catcher In the Rye

Topics: J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey, Glass family Pages: 6 (2509 words) Published: January 23, 2014
Madelyn Crowther
Mr. Mehrotra

English ISP Formal Comparative Essay
Negativity Can Be An Awful Thing
By: Madelyn Crowther

In life, we are often not able to feel happier or understand things better if we constantly think negatively. In the books Franny and Zooey and Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger, the author demonstrates how both Holden and Franny are not able to find the happiness they wish to have because they are constantly thinking negatively towards the world they live in. Holden and Franny display this through their objective towards staying the same, through their mindset of rebelling against society and people and through the misunderstanding they have towards the adult world. Holden and Franny both struggle to find the happiness they wish to have because they are constantly thinking negatively towards the world they live in. Both of these characters struggle due to the objective that they both have for wanting to stay the same and not maturing like the rest of the world. In Catcher In the Rye , Holden deals with struggling to find happiness in his life. He has a fear that change comes with complexity in the world and he is constantly trying to resist the process of change throughout the novel. When Holden visits the Museum of Natural History, he encounters a display of Eskimo statues: The best thing though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was… The only thing that would be different is you (Salinger, 155-159). The Eskimo statues are a symbol showing the optimism that Holden feels towards the idea of staying the same, and remind Holden of how he wants to live life simply and full of curiosity and truth (childhood), where there is no superstition or lies( adulthood). As Holden visits Mr. Antolini, he explains to Holden how he feels having this objective for permanently staying the same may not help him to find happiness in the world: This fall I think you’re riding for... It’s a horrible kind. The whole arrangement is designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking (243-244). As Mr Antolini says “Were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with”, He is worried for Holden because he believes he is constantly trying to achieve something that will not bring him any further in life, which is causing Holden to have a very hard time maturing and does not allow Holden to feel happy as he wants to. In Franny and Zooey, Franny feels very similar to Holden. Franny deals with constantly trying to find happiness in her life through religion and spirituality, but she has a very negative opinion not only about herself, but also towards people striving to change and do things in their life: All I know is that I’m losing my mind. I’m just sick of ego, ego ego. My own and everybody else’s. I’m sick of anybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguishing and all and be someone interesting. It’s disgusting, it is. I don’t care what anybody else says (20). With this negative attitude Franny is putting down the concept of people changing, maturing and becoming a bigger part of the adult world and it’s complicated concepts. However, Franny addresses that she is sick of feeling like she is being forced to mature in society. Franny’s opinions about staying the same are unrealistic, because she will not be able to get anywhere in life if she does not allow herself to mature and accomplish things and accept that there can be happiness in doing this. This objective she has is also shown through her conversation with her boyfriend, Lane: That’s why I quit the theatre department. Just because I’m so horribly conditioned to accept everyone else’s values, and just because I like applause and people to roar about me, doesn’t make it right. I’m ashamed of it. I’m sick if not having the courage to be an...
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