Mr. Antolini was Holden's teacher at Elkton Hills, and Holden describes him as the best teacher he ever had. Holden stops by the Antolinis' apartment after visiting his sister and initially plans on spending the night until Mr. Antolini presumably makes a "flitty pass" at him. Before his disturbing interaction, Holden feels comfortable around the Antolinis and describes Mr. and Mrs. Antolini as an intellectual couple. Holden mentions that Mrs. Antolini is significantly older than her husband but seems to get along quite well with him. According to Holden, Mr. Antolini is more witty than intelligent, but his wife is a more serious person.
The Antolinis are close friends with Holden's family, and he mentions they are familiar with all of D. B.'s stories. Holden views the Antolinis as sophisticated individuals and seems to admire them, which is rare considering his hypercritical, judgmental personality. He does not consider them phonies and looks up to his former teacher. Holden's admiration for Mr. Antolini stems from his down-to-earth, casual demeanor and selfless personality. Holden mentions that Mr. Antolini was one of the few teachers he could "kid around" with without losing his respect and recalls the time Mr. Antolini covered James Castle's body with his coat. Despite Holden's positive perception of the Antolinis, Mr. Antolini creeps him out by petting his head while he is sleeping. Holden assumes that Mr. Antolini made a "flitty pass" at him and rushes out of the apartment.