As I indicated yesterday, here’s a second quote from “The Catcher in the Rye.” The excerpt from yesterday definitely illustrates the narrator’s style and outlook, but the one today gets at the crux of the matter, and hits at what the main conflict in the story is. The monologue is spoken by Mr. Antolini, Holden’s former teacher. He’s giving his perspective of Holden’s situation. It’s good stuff:
“’All right. Listen to me a minute now…I may not word this as memorably as I’d like to, but I’ll write you a letter about it in a day or two. Then you can get it all straight. But listen now, anyway.’ He started concentrating again. Then he said, ‘This fall I think you’re riding for—it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. Or they thought their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started. You follow me?’”
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