Here’s a detailed summary of Chapter 7 of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger:
Catcher in the Rye Chapter 7 Summary: Encounters in New York City
In Chapter 7, Holden Caulfield continues his narrative in New York City. He’s still staying at the Edmont Hotel and continues to feel disconnected from the adult world.
Holden decides to visit a former teacher, Mr. Antolini, whom he respects and admires. Mr. Antolini is now a teacher at Columbia University in New York City. Holden values Mr. Antolini’s intellectual and personal qualities and believes he can provide him with valuable advice.
Holden’s description of Mr. Antolini is largely positive, and he portrays him as a caring and understanding mentor figure. He recalls a time when Mr. Antolini gave a speech about the importance of looking out for others and not falling off the “cliff” into a life of phoniness and conformity.
Holden arrives at Mr. Antolini’s apartment late at night. Mr. Antolini is gracious and welcomes him into his home. They engage in a conversation about life, education, and the challenges of growing up. Mr. Antolini expresses concern for Holden’s well-being and encourages him to continue his education and not give in to despair.
Holden becomes tired and decides to spend the night at Mr. Antolini’s apartment. He sleeps on the couch, but during the night, he awakens to find Mr. Antolini patting his head. This gesture makes Holden uncomfortable and raises questions about Mr. Antolini’s intentions, leading to a sense of unease.
Chapter 7 is significant for several reasons. It introduces Mr. Antolini as a key character and mentor figure in Holden’s life. It also highlights Holden’s desire for guidance and his struggle to find authenticity in a world he perceives as phony. The chapter ends with Holden’s sense of unease and confusion, setting the stage for further developments in the story.