Holden is the main character of the story and the narrator. Holden is sixteen years old and has been kicked out of many prep schools for academic failure and lack of effort. The only subject he passes is English. Holden can be described as smart or sensitive but somewhat crazy or phsyco. He often calls people phony, mean and fake even though he is the biggest phony. He is uncomfortable with himself and wants to grow up but wont when it is time to. Holden's story is written by him when he is in a t.b. rest home and he is seeing a psychoanalyst. He is someone who can be extremely judgmental and he is still mourning the death of his brother. It is as if his only friend is gone and almost every chapter in the book he is trying to make friends and feel less alienated. Holden is someone who is extremely lonely and just wants to feel a sense of belonging.
Ackley is Holden's neighbor at Pencey. He is described as pimply, disgusting and has many hygiene problems. Many of the of the other students do not like him and make him seem unwanted and a loser. He goes into Holden's room a lot unannounced and lies about many things too feel accepted. In a way much like Holden but less complex.
Stradlater is Holden's roommate at Pencey. He is considered to be a "secret slob" because he appears good looking but he uses a rusty razor to shave. He is also nicknamed a "sexy bastard" because has many sexual partners. Holden is jealous when he finds out Stradlater has a date with a girl he used to know named Jane Ghallager.
Holden is extremely attached to Jane and is often talked about in the book by Holden. He spend much time with her during the summer in Maine on vacation. He is a girl who he respects doesn't call a phony. Holden says she is not that pretty but that must be why he likes her. She never appears in the book but is an important part in Holden's story.
Phoebe is extremely important in Holden's story. She is his 10 year old sister who is probably Holden's savior. When Holden had hopes of running away from New York and get a job somewhere far away Phoebe convinces his him to say. Phoebe is very mature and smart. Phoebe seems to have to understand Holden more than others do and listens to what he says. She makes Holden extremely happy. She (like Holden) is very innocent and seem to be in this world alone. She is one who understands Holden is his worst enemy.
D.B is Holden's older brother who lives and works in Hollywood. He writes movies and short stories. Holden says that D.B is in Hollywood being a prostitute about his talents.
Allie is Holden's dead brother who he is extremely attached to and is still mourning during host story. To Holden he was perfect. He died three years before the story takes place from Leukemia. Holden says he is the smartest in their family and he still carries his baseball mitt with poems written on them. While Holden is crossing the street at a part in the story Holden starts to pray tha Allie doesnt make him dissapear. This can signify the ducks when they leave the park. Allie is a huge reason of the breakdown of Holden Caulfield.
Sally is a girl who Holden has already dated before and seems to be a replacement for Jane. She is very attractive and Holden only seems to be sexually attracted to her and does not have the same feelings about Jane. She is smart and much more sophisticated and mature than Holden.
Holden's history teacher which he liked a lot. He is a nice old man who tries to get Holden on track and try to shake his bad study habits.
Carl Luce is an old friend of Holden's. He used to be his student advisor at Whooton and would always talk to him about sex. A man with much sexual experience who when Holden comes back to visit seems to have grown up and mature. He tells Holden to go see a phycoanalyst.
Mr. Antolini is a very heavy drinker. He is a man who is very clever, young and he really cares about Holden's future. He used to be his old english teacher at Whooton. Holden remembers him being the one to cover the boy who jumped out of the window one day at school. Holden sometimes describes him as too clever. He is on of the only two characters who really understand Holden.
The elevator worker at the Edmont Hotel who sends the prostitute Sunny to Holden's room.
The prostitute that Holden called. Holden refuses to have sex with her saying he is recovering from an injury. She is someone that Holden tries to connect.