Holden The protagonist and narrator of the novel, he tells his story from a sanitarium in California.
Phoebe Holden's 10-year-old sister is his most trusted link to family.
Allie Holden's younger brother died on July 18, 1946, when he was 11 and Holden was 13. When he needs help, Holden sometimes speaks to Allie.
D.B. Holden feels that his older brother, once a terrific short-story writer, has now sold out to Hollywood by writing screenplays.
Mother Holden's mother appears briefly in Chapter 23 to check on Phoebe during Holden's secret visit.
Charlene The Caulfield's maid.
Mr. Antolini Holden's favorite teacher while at Elkton Hills, he is now an English instructor at New York University. His behavior at the Antolinis' apartment disturbs Holden.
Lillian Antolini Serious, older, asthmatic, intellectual, and wealthy, Antolini's wife is a somewhat enigmatic partner for the popular young instructor.
Mr. Spencer An elderly history teacher at Pencey Prep, he may mean well but has a tendency toward pontificating.
Mrs. Spencer The history professor's wife is known for her forbearance, kindness, and hot chocolate.
Mr. Vinson Holden's speech teacher at Pencey wants his students to unify and simplify their speeches but never digress.
Sally Hayes Holden's date to a matinee on Sunday is attractive but shallow and artificial.
Jane Gallagher Holden likes to remember Jane as a sensitive, innocent girl with a unique approach to checkers. She is Stradlater's date Saturday evening, which bothers Holden.
Ward Stradlater Holden's roommate at Pencey is handsome but vain and a boorish womanizer.
Robert Ackley Holden's dorm neighbor at Pencey is a regular annoyance.
Ossenburger A wealthy alum, his hackneyed speech to the Pencey students at chapel is interrupted in a creative way by Edgar Marsalla. Holden's dorm wing is named after the mortician magnate.
James Castle A student at Elkton Hills, he jumped to his death rather than recant a statement about an arrogant bully.
Mrs. Morrow The mother of Holden's contemptible classmate, Ernest, she shares a train ride and creative conversation with "Rudolf Schmidt," the alias used by Holden.
Sunny A teenage prostitute at the Edmont Hotel, she is frightening despite her "little bitty voice."
Maurice To collect an extra five bucks, Sunny's pimp roughs up Holden, who is calling himself "Jim Steele" for the hooker.
Bernice, Marty, and Laverne Three thirtyish tourists from Seattle, they leave Holden with the tab at the Lavender Room. Bernice is a very good dancer.
Ernie A talented pianist at his own club in Greenwich Village, he exemplifies Holden's concept of an artist who has sold out.
Lillian Simmons All bust and no brains, she and her date ask Holden to sit with them at Ernie's. She used to date D.B. and oozes her fake charm in hopes of making a good impression.
Horwitz The most interesting of the cab drivers in the novel, he takes Holden to Ernie's Nightclub and offers unusual zoological insight regarding those ducks and the fish at the lagoon.
Faith Cavendish As one example of Holden's struggles with sexuality, she turns down his awkward and untimely request for a date.