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Catcher in the Rye

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Mr. Antolini anecdote

CATCHR-OECYXJ

He was about the best teacher I ever had, Mr. Antolini. He was a pretty young guy, not much older than my brother D.B., and you could kid around with him without losing your respect for him. He was the one that finally picked up that boy that jumped out the window I told you about, James Castle. Old Mr. Antolini felt his pulse and all, and then he took off his coat and put it over James Castle and carried him all the way over to the infirmary. He didn't even give a damn if his coat got all bloody.

What does Holden's anecdote illustrate about Mr. Antolini as a character and Holden's relationship with him?

A

The anecdote reveals that Holden's fondness for Mr. Antolini is, by and large, a result of the way Holden equates his teacher with D.B. Holden implies too that he appreciated how Mr. Antolini did not care about ruining the appearance of his coat.

B

Holden's anecdote about Mr. Antolini reveals that, like Holden, Mr. Antolini is—or at least aims to be—a protector of the innocent. One can surmise that Holden respects and relates to Mr. Antolini's desire to shield his students from harm.

C

Holden's anecdote conveys that Mr. Antolini enjoys playing the hero's role. It can be inferred that Holden used to admire his teacher's supposed emotional sensitivity, before he was able to identify Mr. Antolini's love of attention that he passes off as sensitivity and empathy.

D

Holden's anecdote highlights paradoxical aspects of Mr. Antolini's personality; Mr. Antolini's actions are inconsistent in that he did not do anything to prevent James Castle's suicide, yet he showed enough care to cover his student's dead body and carry it to the infirmary.

E

Holden's anecdote reflects his mixed feelings for Mr. Antolini, although he also conveys respect for Mr. Antolini's disregard for material values. Holden's description makes it evident that he doesn't know whether to consider Antolini a phony or not.