Le Passeur

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Lois Lowry

Holden Caulfield—Holden is the 17-year-old narrator of his own story, which describes three days of his 16th year following his expulsion from Pencey Prep just before Christmas break. He is tall with a crew cut, smokes a lot, and enjoys expressing himself in unusual ways. He has a consistently sarcastic and somewhat hard-boiled tone, and often feels alienated in a world full of phonies. But he has inside, despite everything, a good heart which does not allow him to hold grudges or lose his way in the end.

D.B.—D. B. is the older brother of Holden. Holden does not interact with him during the three days he describes in the novel, but he does tell the reader a bit about him. He is currently living in Hollywood writing for the movies.

Allie—Allie is the younger brother of Holden who passed away in 1946. Holden misses Allie and thinks very highly of him. Allie was original and poetic and very good-natured. Holden often speaks to Allie when alone.

Phoebe—Phoebe is the younger sister of Holden. She is 10 and is a sweet, innocent character. She is full of energy and life and is one of two people in the novel that Holden really desires to converse with.

Ackley—Ackley is Holden’s Pencey Prep dorm neighbor. He likes to make sure Holden knows he is older than him by two years. He also annoys Holden with his unkempt habits. Holden, however, tries to include Ackley in some activities and feels sorry for him at times.

Stradlater—Stradlater is Holden’s roommate. He is taller, stronger, and more handsome than Holden—but he has a sense of humor and can be generous. After Holden calls him a moron and tried to hit him, he hits Holden right in the face.

Jane Gallagher—Jane was Holden’s neighbor back home. He describes how they used to play checkers, hold hands, and go see movies. She is someone whose company Holden really enjoyed. When he finds out that Stradlater is taking her on a date, he begins to think about her often, which continues throughout the novel but he never has the courage to actually call her.

Mr. Cudahy—He is Jane’s alcoholic step-father. There is some tension between Mr. Cudahy and Jane, which Holden witnesses one day while playing checkers with him. She cries and Holden consoles her with tender kisses.

Sally Hayes—Sally is a girl Holden hung out with in the past. When he gets to New York City, he calls her since he cannot get through to Jane. She is very lovely to look at, but they don’t have much in common. In fact, he thinks she is a phony. Nonetheless, he proposes marriage to her. She declines.

Old Spencer—Spencer is one of Holden’s teachers at Pencey Prep. The only subject Holden passed was English; he failed the rest. He says goodbye to Spencer before leaving and Spencer tries to lecture him on his study habits. Spencer is confounded as to what to say to Holden and ultimately just wishes him good luck.

Mrs. Morrow—She is one of Holden’s classmate’s mothers. He meets her on a late night train headed to New York City. She asks Holden about her son and Holden makes up many lies to tell her about her son. She invites Holden to come see them during summer vacation.

Maurice—Maurice is a big, fat elevator-boy in the Edmont Hotel. He is also a pimp and arranges for a prostitute to visit Holden. However, he tries to cheat Holden and when Holden refuses to make the steeper payment than was initially asked; he plunks Holden straight in the mid-section.

Sunny—Sunny is the nickname Holden gives to the prostitute. She is very young, but very shoddy. Holden is turned off by her classlessness. Even though all they did was talk, he still pays her the fee. Later she comes back with Maurice for more money.

The Nuns—Holden meets a pair of nuns at Grand Central station. He makes a donation to them and learns that they are teachers. He talks to the English teacher about Romeo and Juliet and gives her his take on the story. He feels a fondness for them both.

Carl Luce—Carl is an old schoolmate of Holden’s. Holden relates how Carl used to give sex talks to the younger boys and how he could tell who was a “flirt” and who was not. Carl agrees to meet Holden for drinks at the Wicker Club, but all sticks around for a few minutes. During their meeting, Carl is extremely condescending and informs Holden he needs to grow up and should see a psychoanalyst. Holden thinks Carl is a phony.

James Castle—James was a schoolmate of Holden’s at a previous school. Holden barely knew him. He let him borrow a turtleneck once. When some boys tried to bully James, he threw himself out the window and died. He was wearing the turtleneck he had acquired from Holden when he died.

Mrs. Caulfield—She is Holden’s mom. She appears briefly when Holden sneaks home to visit Phoebe. She worries a lot and smokes as much. The death of Allie greatly affected her.

Mr. Antolini—He is an old English teacher of Holden’s. Holden is inspired to call him late Sunday night after receiving his epiphany concerning a vocation. Mr. Antolini is a likeable man but drinks a lot. He tries to give Holden some advice about maturity and lets Holden sleep on his couch. Later, he sits on the floor and begins patting Holden on the head while he sleeps. Holden wakes and thinks Mr. Antolini is up to something perverted. He leaves without really knowing what his old teacher was up to.

Richard Kinsella—He is a boy from class whom Holden recalls for Mr. Antolini. He was a nervous boy who had to give a speech and each time he departed from the point, the class yelled, “Digression!” Holden enjoyed the digressions and thinks there should be nothing wrong with a speaker becoming more interested in a topic other than the one he set out to describe.

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