1. Holden breaks into tears after his confrontation with Sunny and Maurice in chapter 14. Another time when Holden is crying is when he leaves Pencey. In chapter 7 pages 52 Holden says “I was sort of crying. I don’t know why”. The only real connection I can make about the two evens in which Holden cries is the loss of something. In this case, it was not his loss, it was Phoebe’s. Phoebe gave him the Christmas money that she was saving. Holden saw it as generosity, but I think at the same time he saw it has Phoebe losing something which makes him sad.
The second example (when he leaves Pencey) once again displays loss. In this situation Holden is losing a school, he’s losing a place to call “home” (despite his hatred for the school). The whole idea of losing something and loss can be connected back to the overall theme of the story. 2. Holden likes Mr. Antolini because Holden and Mr. Antolini have been friends a long time and are close. Holden considers Mr. Antolini as nice and the best teacher that he has even had. Holden was able to talk to him as he would a friend.
Also the incident with James Castle might have proved to Holden that Mr. Antolini wasn’t a phone and didn’t care about appearances (he didn’t care if his jacket got bloody). Mr. Antolini talks about a fall in Holden’s future. This is kind of parallel to Holden’s image of the “catcher in the rye”. I do think Mr. Antolini’s predictions are correct. The fall that Mr. Antolini describes is the fall that will come if Holden refuses to grow up. His forceful criticism on Holden forces him to come to terms with his own problems. 3.
At first I did think that Holden’s hasty exit from Mr. Antolini’s house was justifiable because I at first thought that Mr. Antolini was gay and making a pass at Holden. I thought this because Mr. Antolini said Holden was a “handsome boy”, he has an older wife who he does not share a room with and seems to only show affection to in public. Whether he was gay or making a move on Holden could be arguable, but the more I analyzed the section I’ve come to the thought that Holden’s departure was not justifiable. It is more likely that Mr.
Antolini’s gesture was simply a sign of affection form teacher to a student in pain, a student who Mr. Antolini genuinely cares and wants the best for. He was also trying to show Holden compassion, something he only seems to get from Phoebe. But like everything else, Holden is rash and unyielding in his interpretation of Mr. Antolini’s motives and actions, and with that rash judgement, the faith and trust Holden had for his teacher is not gone. Holden fails to see that Mr. Antolini is a more complex and multidimensional character than we had originally thought