RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 25
- How is Holden’s physical condition deteriorating in this chapter?
- How is Holden’s mental condition deteriorating in this chapter?
- What indication is there that Holden may be starting to question his own generalizations?
- Why does Holden want to be a deaf mute?
- Relate the writing on the wall at Phoebe’s school to Holden’s wanting to be a “catcher in the rye.”
How is Holden’s mental condition deteriorating in this chapter?
At the beginning of this chapter, Holden is re-thinking the scene with Mr. Antolini. He questions whether his judgement of Mr. Antolini was premature and wonders if it is possible that the touch was a harmless gesture of paternal affection. He thinks he probably should have returned to Mr. Antolini’s house after he retrieved his luggage. This self-doubt illustrates a change in Holden; throughout the novel he has quickly made moral judgments about everyone and everything. The change, however, does not indicate that Holden is getting better. Instead, he begins to seriously believe that he has cancer and is going to die within a few months, simply because he has had an ulcer in his mouth for two weeks. This fear of death turns into paranoia as he begins to think he is disappearing.