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Free Study Guide-The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger-Free BookNotes
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Jane Gallagher

Holden’s childhood friend. Though they never actually dated, they used to hold hands. Jane is best remembered by Holden for the way she used to keep all her kings in the back row during checkers. She is never actually present in a scene, but is constantly in Holden’s thoughts and memories. Holden seems to feel tremendous respect and affection for Jane, and holds her up as a pure and spotless friend and person.

Sally Hayes

A girl that Holden sometimes dates, though he thinks she is a "pain in the ass". She is sensible, practical, boring, and, in Holden’s words, "phony as hell".

Ward Stradlater

Holden’s roommate at Pencey Prep who is fairly conceited. He is a good-looking prep school athlete with a notorious history of having sex with girls. He has a date with Jane Gallagher in the beginning of the novel and fights with Holden when he returns from that date.

Robert Ackley

A boy who stays in the room next to Holden’s at Pencey Prep. He is, according to Holden, a "terrific bore" and a "slob" in personal hygiene. However, Holden is in his own way quite sympathetic toward Ackley and at times even seeks his company.

Carl Luce

Holden’s academic advisor from Whooton. He is the first person to introduce Holden to sex education . Holden considers him an "intellectual" and seeks his companionship while in New York even though he does not much care for him.


The elevator operator at the hotel in which Holden stays. He also functions as a "pimp" and a bully.


The young prostitute that Maurice sends to Holden room. Though she seems very young, she is very businesslike and hardened.

Mrs. Morrow

The mother of a fellow boarder, Ernest Morrow. Holden meets her on the train to New York and has a conversation with her.

The two nuns

Holden meets two nuns at a cafeteria in Grand Central. They have come from Chicago to teach in a school in New York . One of them is an English teacher and talks with Holden about Romeo and Juliet.

Mr. Spencer

Holden’s history teacher from Pencey Prep. He shows a great deal of concern for Holden’s future, but Holden thinks he is too old and pathetic.

Lillian Simmons

A woman D.B. used to date. She is a typical phony, who loves to attract attention.

James Castle

A student at Elkton Hills who committed suicide.

Mal Brossard

Holden’s friend at Pencey Prep.

George Something

A friend of Sally Hayes from Andover.

Rudolf Schmidt

The janitor in Holden’s dorm.

Many other names are mentioned in the narrative, but they are minor characters without much significance in an analysis.

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