The Catcher In The Rye

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Assignment 1: Q1. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE After studying Holden’s actions throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye, I believe he is incorrect in forming the belief that Mr. Antolini betrayed him. Holden jumps to the conclusion that Mr. Antolini is a “pervert” based on an incident where he wakes up in the middle of the night to find his old English teacher patting him on the head. This gesture, which appears perfectly platonic and fatherly, leads him to feel betrayed by one of the few people that he liked and trusted. It is clear that Holden misinterprets Mr Antolini’s action because of a number of factors, including his fascination with sex, his mistrusting, judgemental nature, the lack of affection in his life, his struggle with adolescence and his cynical outlook on adult life. Mr Antolini is portrayed as fatherly. He is an old family friend and seems to have been part of Holden’s childhood. We are informed that he came to the Caulfield house quite frequently for dinner and that only a few days before, he had lunch with Holden’s father. During this meeting, they discussed Holden’s academic failure and his unwillingness to conform to society and apply himself to his studies. Antolini has a paternal attitude towards Holden. He seems genuinely concerned about the boy and tries to help him realise that his irresponsible behaviour is spiralling out of control. He tells him he is headed for a fall and “the man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit the bottom.”(Chapter 24, The Catcher in the Rye) He offers advice: “The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” (Chapter 24, The Catcher in the Rye) The visit is relaxed and friendly. He doesn’t question Holden too much. He gives the impression of being easy-going, laidback and affectionate. Holden seems
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