I’m teaching Catcher in the Rye for the umpteenth time, and every year the kids are fixated on this one point: Is Mr. Antolini gay? My first instinct is to say no, b/c they think EVERYONE is gay. However, there is some textual evidence to suggest that he is. His wife is much older, and Holden mentions that Mr. and Mrs. Antolini are never in the same room together. Makes me think they’re each other’s beards. Also, as a teacher, I can tell you that I’d have to have imbibed an ocean of highballs before I’d be petting one of my student’s heads as they slept.
Does anyone have an opinion on this? Why do you think so?