『フラニーとズーイー』論 : 愛ゆえの虚偽
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Franny and Zooey : Phony Love for True Love
In 1961, "Franny" (1955) and "Zooey" (1957) were published as a complete book, Franny and Zooey. Understanding that "Franny" presents the conflict between the spiritual integrity and the real material world, and that "Zooey" advocates philanthropic love to overcome the conflict. most critics denounce the book, criticizing Zooey's solution for being conceited and unreal. Though at the end Franny seems to recover from the breakdown, listening to Zooey identifying Seymour's "Fat Lady" with Christ and emphasizing the importance of accepting the people and the world as they are, this ending love message is neither Salinger's solution nor the theme of the book. All through the book. it is clearly shown that Zooey shares Franny's problems and will continue to suffer from them in the future, and that these problems are actually rooted in philanthropic love itself.
The book also tells that in spite of their common learning of Seymour's high spiritual ideals, there are some differences between Franny and Zooey. Zooey has a severe uncompromising eye and is strong enough to stand the pain caused by disillusion in the real world. Contrarily, being sweet and gentle, Franny is more easily affected by appearances and cannot accept ugliness or severity by nature. From the outset, Zooey regards her naive antipathy toward the ugly reality as her weakness and tries to change her attitudes. Later, however, he drives her into deeper despair with his sincere efforts and realizes that without accepting her naivete, he can never help her out of the breakdown.
At the end of the book, when Zooey quotes Seymour's words. he resorts to Seymour's magical effect in order to remind her of something nice in the real world. Zooey well knows that philanthropic love conveyed through the image of "the Fat Lady" is phony. Still, this phony love is what Franny really needs to regain the confidence in the real world, and is the only true love Zooey can offer to his sister.