The Dew Breaker – Major Character Analysis

Edwidge Danticat

The Dew Breaker

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The Dew Breaker – Major Character Analysis

The Dew Breaker

This is the character around which all of these stories revolve. In some of the stories, he is a specific character. This character is complex: on the one hand he is a patient and caring father and husband. On the other, he is a man who once committed atrocities for a corrupt government. But he is also a figurative character, representing many other agents of the regime; many of the characters in the novel have been touched or affected by the dew breaker, but it is not always the same dew breaker whose story we learn in this novel.


The dew breaker’s daughter. Ka could be said to stand in for Danticat herself in this novel. Ka is attempting, like Danticat, to come to terms with Haiti’s past through her capacity as a creative artist. Ka learns that this process is even harder than imagined, as the reality that she is trying to represent through art has the potential to change as additional revelations are made.


The wife of the dew breaker and the mother of Ka. While Ka is rebellious and youthfully cynical, Anne holds the family together with her belief in miracles. Anne represents the way in which faith and imagination, in spite of hardship, can help us to live fulfilling lives. Danticat seems to recognize that while her own work as a fictional author is important, religion serves a purpose too that cannot easily be rationalized or explained.


Dany represents a generation of Haitian Americans who are losing their connections to Haiti, not because of negligence, but due to the fact that so many of his family members were killed during the difficult times. However, his return to his home country in this novel represents the possibility of maintaining connections through effort. His “night talking” tendency also upholds this theme.


Michel is a similar character to Dany, but he represents those who experienced the hardships of Haiti as innocent young people and now are learning to cope with this past. Michel’s convoluted relationship with his father (the local opportunist, Christophe) symbolizes the complicated relationship…

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