The most important character in the short story “Red Sari” by Amanthi Harris is the daughter, who is also the first-person narrator of the story. The mother is a secondary character, but she is relevant for the way the daughter relates to her.

Other characters, such as the shopkeepers, mostly appear briefly and are mainly relevant for aspects related to social setting, so we will not go into detail with them at this point.

In what follows, we will first focus on the daughter and the cultural conflict she experiences throughout the story - as well as its eventual resolution. We will also consider her relationship with her mother and with Andrew. 

We will then outline some of the traits of the motherfocusing especially on the way she represents traditional Sri Lankan culture and the way she tries to impose this culture upon her daughter.