Study Guide

The Catcher in the Rye Characters

By J. D. Salinger

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Holden Caulfield

Oh, Holden. We can’t make up our mind between feeling sorry for him and telling him to just...

Phoebe Caulfield

Phoebe—according to Holden—is not only the smartest kid ever, but also best dancer...

Allie Caulfield

Key fact: Allie is dead. Second (and related) key fact: we never meet him, but we sure do hear a...

D.B. Caulfield

Only Holden could make becoming a successful Hollywood screenwriter into some sort of failure....

Jane Gallagher

Sex is complicated. But for Holden, and specifically for Holden's relationship with Jane, it's...

Sally Hayes

Sally Hayes is a pretty, friendly, loud girl who likes to eat ice cream, see matinees, and show...

Mr. Antolini

Let's just cut right to the chase. Does Mr. Antolini come on to Holden? The answer is …...

Mr. Spencer

Mr. Spencer is old. And gross. (Well, apparently those two are basically the same thing to...


Stradlater is super dreamy: he's an athlete, he's handsome, he's got a nice body, he's always...


The Two Nuns

The nuns are yet another example of a minor character (or in this case, a set of minor...

Carl Luce

In Chapter Nineteen, Holden admits that the main reason he called his childhood friend Carl Luce,...


Maurice is an angry pimp who prostitutes out a young girl, steals five dollars, and punches...


First things first: we're almost positive that "Sunny" isn't this girl's real name. She's the...

Dr. Thurmer

The headmaster of Pencey Prep. Need we say more? Clearly a phony.

Selma Thurmer

The headmaster's daughter. Knows her father is a phony jerk. Wears "falsies." Clearly a phony.


The rich alumnus who made all his money from inexpensive funeral parlors. Gives boring speeches...

Herb Gale, a.k.a. Ely

Robert Ackley's roommate, who never makes an appearance.

Edgar Marsalla

The Pencey boy that "laid [a] terrific fart" during Ossenburger's big speech, making the event...

Ed Banky

The basketball coach. He lends Stradlater his car for dates.

Mal Brossard

A "friend" of Holden's at Pencey. On the wrestling team. He goes to the movies with Holden and...

Mrs. Schmidt

The janitor's wife.

Ernest Morrow

A guy at Pencey. Holden meets his mother on the train.

Mrs. Morrow

An attractive woman and a classmate's mother who Holden meets on the train. He spins some...

Rudolf Schmidt

The janitor at Ossenburger Hall who lends his name to Holden's fictional persona on the train...

Mrs. Hayes

Sally Hayes's mother. She thinks Holden is "wild" and is not a big fan of him going out with her...

Faith Cavendish

A "friend" of Eddie Birdsell. She likes to have a good time, if you know what we mean.

Eddie Birdsell

A Princeton guy Holden met at party.


The hot blonde who Holden dances with in the Lavender Room. She's a lousy conversationalist, but...

Mrs. Spencer

Mr. Spencer's wife.


One of Bernice's unattractive friends.


Bernice's unattractive friend.

Mr. Cudahy

Jane's alcoholic stepfather. He may or may not have "tried something" with Jane, but regardless,...


Cab driver #2 for Holden. He's not as concerned with the ducks as he is with the fishes, which he...


The amazing piano player at Ernie's. He takes himself really seriously and bows after he plays,...

Joe Yale-Looking Guy

Guy that Holden sees at Ernie's. This guy gives his date a feel under the table while telling her...

The Navy Guy

Lillian's date. This guy doesn't really like Lillian, but is probably with her for her "big...

Raymond Goldfarb

A guy at the Whooton School that Holden got drunk with in the chapel.

Bobby Fallon

A childhood friend of Holden's and participant in the famous "Allie, go get your bike and meet me...

Arthur Childs

Dick Slagle

Holden's very short-term roommate at Elkton Hills. Dick was the owner of some very inexpensive...

Miss Aigletinger

One of Holden's elementary school teachers. She "never got sore," which is a nice quality for...

Gertrude Levine

Holden's side-by-side partner for the walk through the museum. Gertrude always wanted to hold...

Harris Macklin

A big bore from Elkton Hills, but the greatest whistler ever.

George Something

The phony guy who Sally talks to at the matinee. George is a big social climber who went to Andover.

Al Pike

A guy that Jane Gallagher dated once. She said he had an inferiority complex.

Bob Robinson

Bob Robinson has an inferiority complex, according to Holden, but girls think he's simply arrogant.

Roberta Walsh's Roommate

The girl who thinks Bob Robinson is arrogant.

Tina and Janine

Two French entertainers at the Wicker Bar at the swanky Seton Hotel.


The sexy woman who performs after Tina and Janine at the Wicker Bar.


The regular elevator boy. Thankfully AWOL when Holden goes home.

The Dicksteins

Holden's neighbors.

James Castle

A boy at Elkton Hills that killed himself while wearing Holden's turtleneck sweater. See...

Alice Holmborg

A friend of Phoebe's at school who showed her how to belch. Imagine that being your Shmoopable...

Mrs. Antolini, a.k.a. Lillian

Mr. Antolini's wife. Mrs. Antolini is old, not too attractive, and wealthy. (For more on why this...

Richard Kinsella

One of Holden's classmates in Oral Expression class. He's a spinner of fantastic digressions that...

Mr. Vinson

Mr. Vinson is Holden's Oral Expression teacher. According to Holden, he's "very intelligent and...

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