Character Web: The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis



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Character Web: The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis


Parvana




One Word Description

  • Brave

  • Courage

  • Innocent

  • Intelligent

  • Committed

Appearance

  • Young Afghan girl with think black hair

  • not fully developed (physically)

  • Wears a chador (a piece of cloth to cover hair and shoulders)

  • Wears a burqa outdoors (long tent-like garment to cover face with a mesh screen to cover the eyes)

  • Wears a multi colored shalwar kameez (long loose shirt and trousers)Cuts her hair and dresses like a boy

Significance to the Story

  • Main character. She is the second oldest daughter in her family of six.




  • She is responsible for helping her father provide for the family and doing main chores that must be done outdoors.




  • She is forced to provide for her family while her father is arrested by the Taliban. In order to do this she must cut off her hair and dress like a young boy so she will not be harmed or killed for being an un escorted girl outside.










Parvana’s Mother




One Word Description

  • Damaged

  • Broken

  • Resilient




Appearance

  • Middle aged woman who is beautiful with long black hair

  • Wears a chador (a piece of cloth to cover hair and shoulders)

  • Wears a burqa outdoors (long tent-like garment to cover face with a mesh screen to cover the eyes)

  • Wears a multi colored shalwar kameez (long loose shirt and trousers)

Significance to the Story

  • She is the Mother of Parvana along with her four siblings, and is the wife of Parvana’s Father.




  • She is an intelligent women who is having difficulty adjusting to the Taliban takeover and law forbidding women to leave their homes or go outside.




  • She has been indoors for an entire year and becomes broken when her husband is arrested.




  • She becomes resilient and active when given the opportunity to create an awareness of the amount of violence, poverty, discrimination women and other people of Afghanistan are facing.









Parvana’s Father




One Word Description

  • Provider

  • Image of hope

  • Brave/Courage

  • Intelligent

  • Crippled

  • Wise



Appearance

  • Middle Aged man

  • Greyish/black short hair

  • Long Beard

  • Has one full leg

  • Wears a white shlwar kameez ( long loose shirt and trousers)

Significance to the Story

  • He is the Father of Parvana and her four siblings and is the husband to Parvana’s Mother

  • He used to be a high school teacher before it was bombed by the Taliban

  • He lost his leg in the high school bombing

  • He is very intelligent (can read and write)

  • He is the main provider for the family (reads and writes letter for people within the market, and sells an assortment of household items)

  • He is arrested by the Taliban and is separated from his family for months which forces Parvana to be the main provider for the family.










Nooria




One Word Description

  • Confined

  • Mature

  • Bossy

  • Caregiver

  • Provider




Appearance

  • A teen-aged girl

  • Thick, long, and black hair

  • Wears a chador (a piece of cloth to cover hair and shoulders)

  • Wears a burqa outdoors (long tent-like garment to cover face with a mesh screen to cover the eyes)

  • Wears a multi colored shalwar kameez (long loose shirt and trousers)

Significance to the Story

  • She is the older sister of Parvana

  • She is confined to the family’s apartment and has not seen the outdoors for an entire year

  • She is responsible for taking care of her siblings while staying indoors (cooking, cleaning, chaning diapers)

  • While Parvana provides for the family outdoors, Nooria provides for the family indoors while her mother is not emotionally available to.










Mrs. Weera




One Word Description

  • Brave

  • Intelligent

  • Confident

  • Positive

  • Assertive

  • Caregiver




Appearance

  • An older woman

  • Long grey hair

  • Wears a chador (a piece of cloth to cover hair and shoulders)

  • Wears a burqa outdoors (long tent-like garment to cover face with a mesh screen to cover the eyes)

  • Wears a multi colored shalwar kameez (long loose shirt and trousers)

Significance to the Story

  • She is a co-worker of Parvana’s mother (Women’s support)

  • She is a former Physical Education teacher

  • She becomes a helping hand and caregiver for Parvana’s family when their father is arrested and their mother goes into emotional distress

  • She is a mother-like figure for Parvana as she encourages her to help support her family, keeps order within the household, and maintains a sense of hope and perseverance for the family.










Shauzia




One Word Description

  • Brave

  • Confined

  • Unhappy

  • Imaginative

  • Persistent




Appearance

  • A young Afghan girl (Parvana’s age)

  • Dresses like a boy, and has short hair

  • Wears a torn and dirty shlwar kameez ( long loose shirt and trousers)

Significance to the Story

  • She is a former classmate and friend of Parvana’s

  • Like Parvana, her father is gone and has been forced to change her appearance as a young boy in order to provide for her family

  • She does not want to commit herself to living in Afghanistan, and hopes to move away to Paris.










The Taliban




One Word Description

  • Corrupt

  • Violent

  • Discrimination



Appearance

  • Soldier attire

  • Long beards

  • Carry guns

Significance to the Story

  • Taliban party is an extreme religious group that has taken over and runs most of Afghanistan.

  • The Taliban has ordered that women and young girls should not be working, go to school, or should be outdoors without a make chaperon

  • The Taliban have arrested Parvana’s father and have in turn influenced her to change her appearance as a young boy in order to provide for her family.












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