The mother

The mother is a secondary character in the story “Red Sari” by Amanthi Harris, whose characterisation is conveyed using her daughter’s perspective and the woman’s actions. The fact that she is unnamed suggests that she is symbolic of all traditional mothers who struggle with their children adopting a new culture.

The woman’s outer characterisation reveals that she is from Colombo, Sri Lanka but has probably been living in the UK (presumably) for a long time. We do not know anything about her physical appearance, except for a few references to her “public cheerful voice”, “small hurt laugh”, “small taut laugh”, or to wearing a coat and scarf.

The mother’s inner characterisation is conveyed in relation to her daughter, her daughter’s future husband, and her Sri Lankan culture.

The mother wants her daughter to wear a sari at her wedding. This suggests that, even though she lives abroad, the mother still values her own country’s customs and traditions: “ ‘How can you wear a dress? You must wear a sari.’ And she added: ‘Don’t you think?’ ". The fact that she asks her d...

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