The Catcher in the Rye

Characters Introduced by Chapter

The Catcher in the Rye

I think I even miss that goddam Maurice


As Holden Caulfield narrates The Catcher in the Rye, he introduces us to a variety of characters, a mixture of lives that survey the human condition. Their traits construct a panorama. They are tragic and humorous, loathsome and admirable, vapid and wise, phony and genuine. Two categories of characters populate Holden’s presentation: the players who are physically encountered through his tale to shape events, and those called upon by Holden's memory - the characters who have moulded his outlook on life. Both are equally important to the story he tells and equally real to the teller.
Offered below is a list of the characters who collectively make up The Catcher in the Rye with brief descriptions of how they fit into Holden's account. Each are listed in order of their initial appearance in the novel - and perhaps a comment or two by Holden himself. Characters can easily be located by chapter by riding the Character menu at right. Page numbers correspond to the 1991 Little, Brown and Company paperback Edition. (Don't snicker. My heart still pangs for the loss of my '64 Bantam, long ago loved to tatters.)


Chapter 1

Holden Caulfield
Sixteen years old. Six feet two with a shock of gray hair. Very immature but can act older than his age. (But no one
notices.) Our narrator. Loves children. Hates phonys .

D.B. Caulfield
Holden's older brother. Served in the army. A writer. Author of "the Secret Goldfish". Now a prostitute for Hollywood (1).

Selma Thurmer
Daughter of Pencey's headmaster. Sat next to Holden on the bus. Not very pretty. "She was a pretty nice girl, though" (3).

Robert Tichner & Paul Campbell
Holden's friends at Pencey. Threw the football around until after dark. Didn't want to stop. But eventually, they had to (5).

Mr. Zambesi
Made Holden, Paul, and Robert stop throwing the football around (5).

Mrs. Spencer
Mr. Spencer's wife. She likes Holden, he thinks (7).

Chapter 2

Mr. Spencer
Holden's History teacher at Pency. Holden visits him before leaving school. He flunks Holden and reads his essay on "the
Egyptians" aloud as an explanation. He smells like Vicks Nose Drops and is a bad throw. "Life is a game, boy" (8).

Mr. & Mrs. Caulfield
Holden's parents. Mr. Caulfield is a businessman. Mrs. Caulfield doesn't sleep well. She's still traumatized over Allie.
"They're grand people" (9).

Mr. Haas
Headmaster at the Elkton School. One of the phoniest bastards Holden ever met (13).

Chapter 3

Mr. Thurmer
Pencey Prep Headmaster. Phony. When Marsalla let one rip in chapel everyone pretended they didn't hear it. "But you
could tell he heard it" (17).

Pency alumnus who made a fortune opening funeral homes. Gave a speech in the Pency chapel. Talked to Jesus, asking
Him to send a few more stiffs (17).

Edgar Marsalla
Holden's friend at Pencey. Let one rip during Ossenburger's speech that " damn near blew the roof off" (17).

Robert Ackley
Ackley kid. Roomed next to Holden at Pencey. No one liked him. Nosey and dirty. Holden took him along into town to be
nice. Bad skin and bad teeth that "always looked mossy and awful" (19).

Ward Stradlater
Holden's roomate at Pencey. Handsome and shallow. Asks Holden to write his composition for him and goes on a date with
Jane Gallagher. Holden and Stradlater have a fist-fight. He was a friendly guy but "it was partly a phony kind of friendly (26).

Chapter 4

Mr. Hartzell
Holden and Stratlader's English teacher. He thinks that Holden's a "hot-shot in English" (28).

Howie Coyle
Pencey basketball player. Ackley thinks he has a "perfect build" (29).

Jane Gallagher
Stradlater's date and Holden's childhood friend. His image of frozen perfection. A major character in the book without
actually appearing in it. When she and Holden played checkers she would never move her kings out of the back row (31).

Chapter 5

Mal Brossard
Pencey wrestler who goes into town to get a burger and maybe catch a movie with Holden and (relunctantly) Ackly (35).

Allie Caulfield
Holden's younger brother who died three years earlier of leukemia. Bright, sensitive, and exceptional. Wrote poetry on his
baseball mitt. "You'd have liked him" (38).

Chapter 6

Ed Banky
Pencey basketball coach. Stradlater was one of his "pets" so he let Stradlater borrow his car to go on his date with Jane
Gallagher (43).

Chapter 7

Ackley's absent roomate (49).

Frederick Woodruff
Pencey student who buys Holden's typewriter for twenty dollars (52).

Chapter 8

Mrs. Morrow
Ernest Morrow's mother. Attractive woman. Holden meets her on the train from Agerstown to New York City. He lies to her
to spare her feelings concerning her son. Holden also tells her that he has a brain tumor (54).

Ernest Morrow
A classmate of Holden's. Although Holden tells his mother that he is popular but sensitive, in actuality he is "doubtless the
biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey" and "about as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat"(54).

Rudolph Schmidt
The janitor of Holden's dorm. Holden assumes his name during his conversation with Mrs. Morrow (54).

Chapter 9

Phoebe Caulfield
Holden's ten-year-old sister. Very smart and perceptive girl. Roller-skate skinny with red hair. She likes to write girl books that
she never finishes. Affectionate and emotional (59).

Carl Luce
Classmate of Holden's at the Whooton School. He meets Holden at Ernie's for drinks. Very mature. Dates a Chinese woman in
her late thirties. Knows a lot about perverts (59).

First Cabbie
Takes Holden to the Edmont Hotel. Holden asks him about where the Central Park ducks go in the winter. (60).

Edmont Bellboy

Depressing, very old guy who combed his hair in a sweep to cover his baldness. (61).

Edmont Hotel Perverts
The transvestite dressing up in front of the mirror (61).
The girl who was getting water squirtted all over her face (62).

Ann Louise Sherman
A girl that Holden once necked with all night even though she was a big phoney (63).

Faith Cavendish

A former burlesque stripper or something. Holden calls her from the Edmont to try to set up a date. But it's too late. She
calls him "Mr. Cawffle" (64).

Eddie Birdsell
A Princeton guy that Holden met at a party. He gave Holden Faith Cavindish's number for a "good time" (64).

Chapter 10

Marty, Laverne, and Bernice Crabs or Krebs
Three girls that Holden meets in the Lanender Room. Tourists from Seattle. He dances with Bernice Crabs or Krebs. They
spend their time looking for movie stars (like Peter Lorre) and then stick Holden with the check (69).

Chapter 11

Mr. Cudahy
Jane Gallagher's mother's husband. A hint of abuse. He was a "booze-hound" (78).

Piano player and owner of Ernie's nightclub. Good player but a big phony (80).>

Chapter 12

Horwitz (Second Cabbie)
Drives Holden from the Lavender Room to Ernie's. Holden asks him where the Central Park ducks go in the winter (81).

Lillian Simmons
Former girlfriend of D.B., Holden runs into her at Ernie's. Marvellous! (86).

Commander Blop
Navy guy with Lillian Simmons. He breaks four of your fingers just shaking hands (87).

Chapter 13

Raymond Goldfarb
Holden's friend at the Whooton School. They got drunk together once in chapel. Raymond got very drunk but Holden only
got very cool and nonchalant. He did puke, but he forced himself to (90).

Edmont elevator operator/pimp. Sends "a girl" up to Holden's room for "a good time". After agreeing upon a price, Maurice
wants more. Holden has a fist-fight with him but he doesn't stand a chance (90).


Young prostitute sent to Holden's room. Shallow, uneducated, and all-business. Holden and Sunny only talk. This is five.
It costs ten. Holden assumes the alias of Jim Steele with Sunny. She calls him "crum-bum" (93).

Chapter 14

Bobby Fallon
Holden's friend in Maine when he was younger. One day, Holden refused to take Allie with him to Bobby Fallon's house because
Allie was just a child (98).

Arthur Childs
Classmate at the Whooton School. Quaker. He and Holden talked about the Bible. They disagreed (99).

Chapter 15

Sally Hayes
Holden's old girlfiend. Sally is very interested in the theater. Very affected. They go on a date to see a play and then go
skating at Radio City. Holden asks her to run away with him and then calls her names. She has a Christmas tree in need of
trimming (105).

Dick Slagle
Holden's roomate at Elkton Hills School. They shared a room with their suitcases. Holden's were bourgeois(108).

The Two Nuns
Holden meets them in the sandwich bar. One is an English teacher. They discuss "Romeo and Juliet" over eggs. Holden gives
them ten dollars as a contribution (109).

Chapter 16

Mrs. Hayes
Sally Hayes' crazy mother. Holden talks to her on the phone when he's drunk. She likes her ass kissed (114).

Estelle Fletcher
Singer of "Little Shirley Beans" (114).

The Family on Broadway
Poor looking family walking up Broadway. Father, mother and six-year old boy who was skipping from the curb into the street
and back again. The boy's parents ignored him. The traffic didn't. He was singing "If a body catch a body coming through
the rye" (115).

Phoebe's Schoolmate
Holden finds her sitting by herself. Asks if she knows who and where Phoebe is. She has trouble with her skate key.
Holden doesn't (118).

Miss Aigletinger
Holden's grammar school teacher in New York. She often took the class to the Museum of Natural History. "She never
got sore" (120).

Gertrude Levine
Holden's partner during excursions to the Museum of Natural History. She liked to hold sweaty hands (120).

Chapter 17

Harris Macklin
Holden roomed with him for two months at Elkton Hills. He was a bore with a very raspy voice. But he could whistle great.
Holden never told him he thought he was a great whistler (123).

George "Something"
Phony Andover snob who Sally Hayes knew. She spotted him during her date with Holden. Thought the Lunts were "Angels".
Big soul kisses (127).

Chaptr 18

Al Pike
Some guy that Jane Gallagher once dated. Wore white Latex swimming trunks. "Show-off bastard" (135).

Wolf Lady & Her Son
Pair that Holden sees in the movie theater. She cries all through the movie but won't let her little boy go to the bathroom.
"Kindhearted as a goddam wolf" (139).

Chapter 19

Tina and Janine
Two French babes who performed at the Wicker Bar. One played piano and the other sang in half English and half "Vooly
Voo Fransay" (141).

Chapter 20

Performer at the Wicker Bar. Opening act for Tina and Janine. Holden gives her the eye and instructs the headwaiter to ask
Velencia to join him for a drink. He doesn't (149).

Flitty Guy at the Wicker Bar
Holden mocks him to Carl Luce. Later, in the men's room he advises Holden to go home because Holden is so drunk.

Chapter 21

The Dicksteins
The Caulfields' neighbors. Holden pretends to be their nephew to the new elevator boy in order to sneak into his parent's
apartment (157).

Chapter 22

Veteran's Day Visitor
Old Pency alumnus who knocked on the door of Holden's dorm to ask for directions to the bathroom. Holden and Stradlater
walked him there so that he could check for his initials that he carved ninety years ago. The Ghost of Christmas Future (168).

James Castle
Classmate at Elkton Hills. His name was next to Holden's at roll call. He refused to take back something that he said. Jumped
out of a window (?) and died. Holden heard him land and saw him dead (170).

Elkton Hills boy who was insulted by James Castle. He and six of his friends tried to force James Castle to take back what he
has said (170).

Mr. Antolini
Former English teacher at Elkton Hills. He was the one who finally picked up the body of James Castle. Holden retreats to his
house and recieves a long lecture. Plans to stay there until Tuesday, but while Holden is sleeping Mr. Antolini begins to pet
him. Flitty. Likes to drink (173).

Chapter 24

Lillian Antolini
Mr. Antolini's wife. Lots of money. About sixty years older than Mr. Antolini. Likes to kiss in public. Never in the same room
as Mr. Antolini (180).

Richard Kinsella
Holden's classmate at Pencey They took Oral Expression together. Shy boy. easily flustered. Got a "D" in the class because
they kept on yelling
"Digression!" at him (183).

Mr. Vinson
Taught Oral Expression at Pencey. "Kept telling you to unify and simplify all the time" (185).

Chapter 25

Two Bruddas
Two boys Holden meets in the Metropolitan Museum. They're skipping school. They ask Holden where the mummies are kept.
They go together, sticking close to Holden. One does all of the talking, the other "don't feel like it". They leave Holden in the
tomb (202).

Chapter 26

Psychoanalyst Guy
A Psychoanalyst at the California hospital. Keeps on asking Holden if he's going to apply himself. "It's a stupid question" (213).

English Babe
Actress who comes with D.B. to visit Holden. "She's pretty affected" (213).