The daughter

The main character

The daughter is the main character in Amanthi Harris' short story, “Red Sari”. Her outer characterisation suggests that she is originally from Sri Lanka, but that she was probably raised in the UK. She is about to marry Andrew, whose name suggests that he is a Westerner.

The daughter’s physical portrait is conveyed by comparison with a model wearing a wedding dress in a magazine: “…small and young and she had dark curly hair like me.” 

The daughter’s inner characterisation is conveyed through her thoughts, actions, and attitude in relation to her culture, her mother, Andrew, and other characters.

The daughter in relation to her mother

Most of the story focuses on the daughter’s relationship with her traditional Sri Lankan mother.

From the beginning of the story, we discover that the daughter finds it hard to oppose her mother’s wishes. Although her dream is to wear a conventional Western wedding dress, she cannot refuse her mother’s request to wear a sari and begins considering this option: “A little distant voice in me agreed, a distant me nodded. ‘Yes, a sari; I’ll have to try one on.’ ” 

However, she cannot dismiss her dream either, as the image of the picture with her dream wedding dress keeps reappearing in her mind: “But how ever far I walked she did not disappear, or maybe I was lingering really, not going away, watching her, seeing her smiling face.”; “…and there was the woodland and the woman in her pale shift smiling and humming to herself in the...

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