of a lifetime everyone receives advice that is usually more easily said than done. In J. D. Clinger’s Frayne and Gooey, Frayne Glass and her brother Gooey receive some advice from their older brother Seymour that Is not only hard to follow, but actually Involves going against human nature to achieve. Seymour tells his two youngest siblings that they should do everything In their life “For the Fat Lady” (Slinger 200).
Although not understanding his eldest brother’s Insight at first, Gooey later understands the advice to mean that no matter what, one should always o his best, not for the world around him but simply for himself. All a person can ever control is themselves, and therefore. Despite what they see society doing around them, the only thing they can do is give their best effort in every aspect of life. At first glance, Seymour instruction seems logical, as well as doable.
However, when closely looked at, it is apparent that this is not the case. Seymour advice is particularly difficult to follow because it asks people to go against basic human nature by requiring detachment from the common desire to conform to society. One problem that Frayne recognizes within the world is that people always behave the way they do to receive praise and applause, never acting for themselves. Frayne uses her previous profession as an actress as an example, however, what she describes really applies to everyone. He explains why she felt the need to quit the theatre department stating, “Just because I’m so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else’s values, and just because I Like applause and people to rave about me, doesn’t make it right” (Slinger 30). Frayne touches on the idea that people always seek applause and will do whatever it takes to attain it, and in truth, she Is correct. Human beings want to shine. And they want to be the best, which ties into the fact that humans are Insatiable creatures, greedy to obtain the image of greatness.
Therefore, in order to become the best. People conform to what they know will be an image that others will approve of. Seymour “Fat Lady advice suggests that people, rather than caring about looking the best in the eyes of others, should Instead act so they can be looked at as the best in their own eyes. Seymour hilltop’s has intelligent and positive aspects, but is also directly contradicted by human nature. People are materialistic beings who always want a selfish reward for their actions.
It is very difficult for humans to do something that will not receive praise, and It makes them desperate to hear the sound of applause to validate the quality of their actions. Another major problem that Frayne Identifies with the world Is that people do everything based off one thing and one thing only, and that is ego. She believes that no one is ever truly himself and that people only do things based on how they hind others will perceive them for it. Sadly. Frayne is again one-hundred percent correct.
Human beings have a pack mentality that drives them to try and fit in with the people surrounding them, as well as impress and be liked by them. In the novel, Affrays boyfriend Lane Costello is a perfect example of how people try and act so that people around them will approve. As Lane waits for Francs train to come in, Buddy 1 OFF most recent letter for what is clearly not the first time. Lane’s reading of the letter over and over again illustrates how much Lane cares, and possibly loves, his relined Frayne.
Therefore, when Frayne gets off the train, Lane will of course run to her having missed her for so long. However, this is not the case, for Lane does Just about the exact opposite as he tries to “empty his face of all expression that might quite simply, perhaps even beautifully, reveal how he felt about the arriving person” (Slinger 7). Lane is a victim of conformity as is everyone else in the world. He knows he is supposed to be the man in the relationship, and therefore, being excited about the arrival of his girlfriend would be perceived as masculine and unnatural by the people around him.
Seymour advice of “Doing it for the Fat Lady’ addresses the idea that people love to conform so that they will be accepted by the people around them, and his insight proposes that people need to detach themselves from caring about how other people think of them. In reality, however, seeking approval is something that is so deeply ingrained into what it means to be human that Seymour advice is extremely hard to follow, making detachment from caring about what other people think almost the same as detachment from humanity itself.
The idea that everyone acts alike infers that people are all the same, and therefore, have to detach themselves from society in order to establish their individuality. Frayne expresses the idea that everyone loses their individuality due to conformity when she is talking about Lane’s friend Wally Campbell. She describes her experience with people in college saying, “For four solid years Vive kept seeing Wally Campbell wherever I go. I know when they’re going to be charming… I know when they’re going to ask me what I did over the summer” (Slinger 25).
She is restated by the fact that they all act like the same person, discussing the same things over and over again without showing any real personality. Although the “Fat Lady’ advice should supposedly allow people to gain back their individuality, the problem proves extremely difficult to eliminate because humans can’t help but again fall prey to the idea of fitting into the pack. For example, in Clinger’s novel, although Frayne criticizes people around her for losing their individuality, she finds out that acquiring “the courage to be an absolute nobody’ (Slinger 30) is harder than one ay think.
Frayne stays in her relationship with Lane even though she doesn’t love him; and she herself conforms, hiding her true intellectual side because that is the standard she knows society has set. Looking past the fact that Seymour advice to Frayne and Gooey goes against human nature, it also may not be the greatest advice even if someone were able to detach himself from conformity completely. If people attempted to follow the “Fat Lady’ advice and try to find satisfaction by themselves they could very well end up isolating themselves from society, trapped in a state of users and loneliness.
For instance, Seymour created the idea of the “Fat Lady’ and after attempting to change his life, abiding by his own advice, he found himself isolated and alone, leading him into a state of depression that eventually led to his suicide. In no way is this to say that if someone tries to act for himself that he will end up committing the ultimate sin. However, it shows that the oldest of the Glass children was not necessarily acting in his younger siblings’ best interests when telling them to “Do it for the Fat Lady’.