The Catcher in the Rye Summary of Chunk 9 (Chapter 24)
After leaving his house, Holden heads over to Mr. Antolini's house, where he is welcomed by both the former English teacher and his wife. In the discussion which follows, Mr. Antolini diagnoses Holden as being without a purpose, saying that he is like many other men in history who "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."
Above all, though, Mr. Antolini stresses the need for an education. He argues that in order for Holden to expresses his ideas properly and to gain the will to pursue his thoughts to their ends, he will need an education. In making this argument, Mr. Antolini implies that Holden may turn out to be a brilliant man when he grows up.
After Holden finally gets to sleep, he wakes up an hour or so later only to find Mr. Antolini patting his head. Nervousness overtakes him, and he runs out the door in the guise of retrieving his bags from the station.