When Franny from “Franny and Zooey” by J.D. Salinger is feeling like the world isn’t what she wants it to be, Zooey tells her that everyone was their older brother Seymour’s fat lady. “Do it for the fat lady,” he always said, which means do it because everyone deserves their respect. Because of these two lines, Franny and Zooey tend to expect too much back from the rest of the world, but the philosophy behind them could change the world.
When Seymour told Franny and Zooey to do it for the fat lady, they both pictured the most grotesque, disgustingly obese woman then could think of. This way, no matter what they were doing, if they could do it for someone that disgusting, they could for anyone. Seymour wanted both Franny and Zooey to always do their best, and he pushed his beliefs onto them so that they would do so.
Inadvertently, Seymour somewhat ruined the Glass children. Franny flourished while she was young, so she always expected the best out of everything. When she went off to college, she learned that unlike her family, it wasn’t all success. She learned that she couldn’t go without nit picking at everyone she knew. She would constantly pick them apart for every little fault, just because she had always expected the best out of everyone.
Zooey ended up even worse from Seymour’s teachings. He’s just too smart for his own good and he knows it. He takes everything that anyone says to him and replies with condescending, rude remarks about it. Since he always did his best, he expected amazing things from everyone else. That worked with his family, since they also did the best for each other, but such isn’t the case in the real world. Not everybody was as smart as his siblings, or as willing to do anything for anyone, and that turned Zooey sour.
Seymour’s suicide added to Zooey’s social issues. Seymour was always his main mentor. When Seymour died, Zooey was just beginning his adult life. He was making choices for himself and deciding his future....