The Catcher in the Rye

In the book The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, Holden arrived at Mr.Antolini’s. Mr. Antolini and his wife have just wrapped up a dinner party in their apartment, having glasses and dishes everywhere. While Mr. Antolini’s wife started making coffee, Holden takes a seat and the two started talking, Mr. Antolini then asks Holden about his expulsion in Pencey Prep school. Holden soon reveals that he disliked the rules of that school, an example would be his debate class, the students were penalized for digressing their subject. Mr. Antolini then challenges Holden, saying that digressions are distracting and that it is more interesting to stay on one topic. Holden then feels uncomfortable and goes to bed.

“I’m not trying to tell you,” he said, “that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It’s not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they’re brilliant and creative to begin with – which, unfortunately, is rarely the case – tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And – most important – nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker. Do you follow me at all?”

I really like this quote, as this quote discusses a lot about Mr. Antolini, from this quote we are not sure if Mr. Antolini genuinely loves his students, but we can tell from what he has said to Holden that he has genuine respect to learning. In this quote, he also does not try to scold holden in any way, in fact, he talks to Holden as an equal.