Jane Gallagher is a childhood friend of Holden Caulfield's whom he knew "like a book" and had romantic feelings for.
According to Holden, Jane had a lousy childhood. Her parents were divorced, and she lived with her mother and stepfather, a "booze hound" named Mr. Cudahy whom Jane had a difficult relationship with. Holden mentions that her mother belonged to the same club they did.
Jane and her family moved from Cape Code to Maine in the same neighborhood as the Caulfield family. They met after her Doberman Pinscher would come over and relieve itself on the lawn of Holden's house. Spending a rather romantic time together, he recalls how they bonded over games, books, and watching movies.
Before they went off to prep school, Jane told Holden that she might go to B.M. or Shipley.
The Catcher in the Rye Edit
During the night of the Saxon Hall game, Jane is on a date with Holden's roommate Ward Stradlater. According to Stradlater, the two of them ended up in the car he had borrowed from coach Ed Banky, much to Holden's disdain.
Holden has said that he "wouldn't exactly describe her as strictly beautiful" and is "sort of muckle-mouth", but nonetheless finds her attractive.
According to Holden, Jane is quite fond of all athletic sports and that he taught her how to play golf. They would also often play checkers together. Holden recalls that Jane had an odd habit of not moving her Kings from the back row, because she liked the way they looked lined up at the back of the board.
Character analysis Edit
Despite not appearing in the current timeline of The Catcher in the Rye, Jane is one of the few important figures whom Holden has deep affections for.
"We'd get into a goddam movie or something, and right away we'd start holding hands, and we wouldn't quit till the movie was over. And without changing the position or making a big deal out of it. You never worried with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was you were happy. You really were."