Chapter 24 Notes from The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 24

Holden likes Mr. Antolini for his wit and his kindness. He was the only person, Holden says, who would go near James Castle's body after he jumped to his death. Mr. Antolini now lives in a swanky apartment with his wife, who's rich and a good bit older than he.

The Antolini's threw a party earlier in the evening and Mr. Antolini has quite a few drinks in him. He's a little wired, though, and eager to talk with Holden. Holden is exhausted and hungover at this point, though he's grateful that Mr. Antolini's taken him in. Therefore, as with Mr. Spencer, Holden gives his best effort at listening to what amounts to a pretty scary lecture from his old teacher. Mr. Antolini is worried that Holden is headed for a fall, "'a special kind of fall, a horrible kind.'" (pg. 187) He fears that Holden is going to end up alienated and hating everyone by the time he's thirty. He gives Holden a bunch of advice, most of it to the effect that he needs to stick with school and come to realize that he's "'not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior.'" (pg. 189) Holden listens, though when a yawn escapes him, Mr. Antolini laughs and helps him make up the couch.

Topic Tracking: Innocence 10

Holden seems like he might finally get the good bit of sleep he needs, but something happens, he says, that he almost doesn't even want to talk about. He wakes in the middle of the night to find Mr. Antolini sitting beside the bed, petting him on the head. Holden has a very fierce reaction to this; he jumps up, asks Mr. Antolini what the hell he's doing, then grabs his clothes to make his exit. He tries to be a bit civil about it, saying he's just going to get his suitcase from the station, but when he walks out the door it's obvious he's not coming back.

Topic Tracking: Empathy 9

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