HOLDEN CAULFIELD. The narrator-protagonist of the novel, Holden is a classic rebel of literature--though misguided and without direction. He particularly hates "phonies," and just about everyone he runs into are classified as such; Holden, too, is a bit of a phony, often pretending to be something he is not. He also hates dishonesty, hypocrites, athletes, and people in a position of power. His relationships with women are also unusual, and he suffers from a typical case of teenage lust when in their presence. His directionless lifestyle is best seen from his academic failures and his aimless wandering about New York City. He dreams of leaving the northeast, but he scorns those (his older brother) who have actually taken this step.
PHOEBE CAULFIELD. Holden practically idolizes his 10 year old sister, an intelligent focused girl whose maturity sometimes seems to surpass Holden's. Faithful and concerned for her brother's welfare, she gives good advice willingly, which Holden rarely follows.
ROBERT ACKLEY. Holden's next-door neighbor while at Pencey, he is disliked by all, primarily because of his extreme unhygienic habits.
WARD STRADLATER. Holden hates Stradlater, who is everything that Holden detests. Handsome, tall, athletic, vain and successful with women, Stradlater particularly angers Holden when he goes out with Jane Gallagher, who Holden admires. He cons Holden into writing an essay for him, and when it doesn't impress him, Stradlater punches Holden in the nose.
MR. SPENCER. Although he is Holden's favorite teacher at Pencey, Holden has little respect for Spencer's old fashioned beliefs (or his aging body). Holden takes the time to visit Spencer, who seems to like Holden and obviously cares about his academic future, but Holden leaves as soon as possible after Spencer's warnings hit the mark.
MR. ANDOLINI. Holden's favorite teacher from a previous prep school, Holden attempts to spend the night at his house, getting some good advice from Andolini in the process. But when Holden awakes in the middle of the night to find Andolini rubbing his head, Holden perceives it as a homosexual advance. Or was it? Nevertheless, the act only makes Holden more mistrustful of adults.