9.) The most ambiguous encounter in the book is Holden’s night at Mr. Antolini’s apartment. What do you make of Mr. Antolini’s actions? Was he making a pass at Holden? What is the significance of his actions, and how do they relate to his role as someone trying to prevent Holden from “taking a fall”?
The question I am answering is question number nine on the list in which it asks my opinion on Mr. Antolini’s actions and what I thought to his reason behind those actions. Mr. Antolini’s actions were harmlessly and innocent. As a teacher, Mr. Antolini’s probably only had good intentions at heart. Holden mentions previously in the novel about James Castle a boy in his castle who had committed suicide. Mr. Antolini’s was the only person who even tempted to cover him up and once he did, he carried him to the infirmary. Holden before stating this mentions committing suicide himself but he would hate for people to see him all expose like they had seen James Castle. He doesn’t say this directly, but we can infer this from the text. Mr. Antolini’s could have been the one who helped James Castle but that doesn’t mean that he was affected by the scene. It was pretty graphic according to Holden. “He was dead, and his teeth, and blood, were all over the place, and nobody would even go near him” (Salinger, 1945, p. 170). Imagine seeing this scene then choosing to save the dead little boy. This must have been traumatic to Mr. Antolini’s. He probably learned after this encounter how to read the signs of a suicidal and or depressed child, due to him not wanting to see this scene ever again.
This brings me back to my point that Mr. Antolini’s actions were indeed good. He was not making a pass at Holden. If anything he was trying to see if he was okay. As a person who was there at the scene of the suicide, he probably kept a closer eye on all the young people in his life. Who would want to relive the sight of a child dead on the steps of the school, blood and body...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document