Franny and Zooey Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where do Bessie and Zooey have their long conversation?

2. In what tone does Zooey talk to his mother?

3. Why is Bessie so upset with her husband?

4. When the reader first meets Zooey, what is Zooey doing?

5. What profession was Bessie in when she was younger?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Buddy and Seymour decide to conduct metaphysical seminars with their younger siblings?

2. What are the main topics that Buddy writes to Zooey about?

3. Salinger has Buddy begin the Zooey chapter of the book although Zooey himself will continue the story. Why might Salinger use the character of Buddy when he is not physically there when Franny has her breakdown?

4. How does Franny feel as she tells Lane about the story of the pilgrim?

5. When Buddy writes of Seymour's suicide, he says that " I can't be running back and forth forever between grief and high delight." What anecdote does he use to explain this and what does Buddy mean by it?

6. Why is Lane angry that he received an "A" on his paper?

7. When Franny tells Lane that she believes she is going crazy, do you feel that she is serious?

8. Zooey is described as being beautiful. Why did Salinger create him that way?

9. Right from the start, Franny and Lane do not seem to be a couple who are dedicated to each other or their relationship. How is this shown though characterization in the opening pages leading to the point where Franny excuses herself to the ladies' room?

10. What does Bessie's attire say about her character?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Are humans a product of their environment or their upbringing or a combination of both? Is Franny's breakdown a product of her childhood or her environment? Take a stance on the topic and using examples and quotes from the novel. Defend your stance in a well-organized essay. Avoid plot summary.

Essay Topic 2

Setting is crucial to any story as to the development of a character. Salinger sets the bulk of the story of Franny and Zooey in the bathroom. What does the setting of the bathroom do to drive the characters of Bessie and Zooey? What does it say about each of them individually? What does it say about their relationship to each other?

Essay Topic 3

Minor characters often have a significant effect on the protagonist of a novel, especially if the minor character is an antagonist. Describe how Les is an antagonist in the story and in a well-organized essay show the significance of this character to the protagonist.

(see the answer keys)

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