J.D. Salinger: The Fat Lady and the Chicken Sandwich by James E. Bryan

MLA Citation:

Bryan, James E. “J. D. Salinger: The Fat Lady and the Chicken Sandwich.” College English 23.3 (1961): 226-29. Print.

First Paragraph:

Critics have rightly complained that J.D. Salinger’s “Glass family chronicles” [citation omitted] lack the superb poetry and economy of his Nine Stories period. However the garrulity of Salinger’s recent narrators provides a not unwelcome annotation of symbolism and underlining of theme which can often serve as a reference to the interpretations of earlier stories.


Bryan begins by noting that there are clear parallels in characterization in “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period” and Zooey in their struggles with ego, he then shifts his attention from the Fat Lady metaphor of Zooey to its earlier predecessor in “Just Before the War with the Eskimos.” Bryan not only suggests that Franklin is a Christ figure, but goes to particular length to describe the physical descriptions that link Franklin’s character to traditional imagery of Christ. After a fairly thorough rendering of the Christian symbolism, particularly that associated with Easter and the Eucharist, Bryan turns his attention back to Franny and Zooey to elucidate additional parallels between Ginnie and Franny suggesting that like Ginnie, Franny is offered salvation, but that her acceptance takes a different form.

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