Holden Caulfield is the narrator of the story. He is a 16-year-old boy from a wealthy family. From the first sight, he is just not thankful and stubborn, and nothing is interesting for him. He damns school and his classmates. Holden is expelled several times, and in general, he behaves like a rebellious teenager.
In the book, Holden Caulfield symbolizes the absurdity of the American style of life. He is not just an impolite and lazy schoolboy; the protagonist is a rebel-moralist who is an intermediate link between outcasts of American Romanticism with its rejection of the social morality of the XIX century.
Holden Caulfield Quotes
Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round...All the kids tried to grap for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she's fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it is bad to say anything to them.
That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "Fuck you" right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say "Holden Caulfield" on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say "Fuck you." I'm positive, in fact.
But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody'd written 'fuck you' on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them— all cockeyed naturally— what it meant, and how they'd all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever'd written it.
Holden Caulfield in the Essays