Posted 9 months ago with 2 notes
“He said to shine them anyway. He said to shine them for the fat lady.”
The Franny part of Franny and Zooey was a trap. It was a literary weapon disguised as a mirror. I was able to relate to Franny. I could desperately understand how she could find the people around her distasteful. As if it was her against the world. Because everyone around her had these huge egos and felt as though their lives are of such importance. Franny went through her spiritual breakdown and I could understand that, too. The Jesus Prayer represented a strong gesture that counteracted her fragile state of mind. And it wasn’t until Zooey’s part that everything I knew about Franny fell apart.
If there is one book that I learned most from, it is this one. Often we have things to say about everyone else but ourselves. We can look and observe others but haven’t the faintest idea as to how we seem to fit into the context of human behavior. I thought I was different than everyone else. That I had a real reason to be disgusted by people’s actions when I couldn’t even face the fact that by commenting on other people’s egos, I was attributing to my own. The irony is that Franny was ignorant to her own ego and Zooey was the one who confronted her about it. But Zooey, himself, realized as he was telling her of her own egotistical ignorance, put himself of high importance, too. You can see that role played out well with Bessie.
So after relating to Franny so well, it felt as though I was being confronted of my own ego. There are still moments when I dislike people. Today I read something someone said that contradicted their actions. At first, I laughed to myself and wanted to comment on it. First reaction was “this guy! look at him! he responds to people’s comments as though he knows the answers to everything! Look at this asshole who rejects one thing but doesn’t even know he does it himself! He thinks he’s better than everyone else!” and then I realized, “what am I doing? Am I offended?” This only implies that I think I’m at least as good as him. It is one thing to understand and weed out contradictions of others, it’s another to make them personal.
In the end, I have to learn to accept that people will have their egos as well as I will have mine. I wanted to so badly say something to make sure he knew he was being a complete fool. But what would be the good in that? Only to make me feel better about myself. The more you understand yourself and the people around you, the harder it is to really hate someone. When you can truly understand where someone comes from, it’s easier to just let things go.