Who are the teachers that Holden mentioned in The Catcher in the Rye?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The two teachers that Holden discusses in The Catcher in the Rye are Mr. Spencer and Mr. Antolini.

Spencer is Holden's favorite teacher at Pencey; he teaches history and apparently has a good relationship with Holden. Holden decides to pay Spencer a visit before leaving Pencey and shows up at his home. Spencer does not present a very pleasing appearance to Holden, greeting him in pajamas and bathrobe. Holden is repulsed by his teacher's pale complexion and skinny legs; additionally, Spencer is ill, but he is still able to lecture Holden on his bad grades. Holden is polite, but he cuts the visit short.

Antolini is Holden's favorite teacher from before attending Pencey. He describes Antolini as "the best teacher I ever had," and when Holden calls him, Antolini invites him to his home even though it is late in the evening. Holden falls asleep on the couch and awakes to find Antolini rubbing his head. Holden, mistakenly or not, assumes that the contact is a homosexual overture, and he immediately leaves his teacher's home. Holden wonders later about Antolini's true intentions, unsure that he was correct about his earlier assumption.

Read the study guide:
The Catcher in the Rye

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