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In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, what are things that Holden likes about his old...

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rtqb18 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM via iOS

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In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, what are things that Holden likes about his old schools?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM (Answer #1)

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Holden did not like any of the schools that he attended. He generally despises the institutions for what they claim to be and never seem to deliver. For example, he didn't like those who were in charge and many of the students because he felt they were phonies, or fake. What Holden did like about the schools, then, wasn't the education or the institutions themselves, but he found a couple of people who were at the school that he could either like, feel sorry for, or actually admire.

At Whooton he liked his student adviser, Carl Luce. Holden looks up to Luce because he thinks he's a genuine person. To Holden, Luce is very intelligent and mature. Holden likes the fact that Luce has a very sophisticated vocabulary and has a lot of experience with women. When Holden meets up with Luce at the Wicker Bar he said, "He never said hello or anything when he met you" (143). That must mean that Holden also thinks that saying "hello" is a needless technicality, which gives insight into Holden's character for sure.

From Elkton Hills, Holden respected one teacher named Mr. Antolini. Again, Holden likes Mr. Antolini because he didn't seem fake when he was in his English class. It also helps to like him because he's young, about the age of his older brother D.B., and seems to understand teenagers. Holden describes him as someone   with whom a person could joke around "without losing your respect for him" (174).

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