Who are the main characters in the book Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama?

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penelope3907 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Barack Obama's first book,Dreams from My Father, the main character is really Obama himself. The book briefly outlines the lives of his mother and maternal grandparents and his parents' courtship before his birth. It then follows Obama's own life as he struggles with his identity and race from childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii to his early career in Chicago and eventual journey to his father's homeland of Kenya.

After President Obama, the next major character is Barack Obama Sr, who doesn't play a huge role as a living character, since the book opens with his son finding out about his death. The older Obama, however, is very important as a ghost-like figure. Neither the reader nor the protagonist know much about him and most of the story revolves around Obama's search for who his father was and who he should become in light of that.

Another recurring character is Obama's sister, Auma, who shares much of what Obama comes to understand about his father and who guides him through his journeys in Kenya. In addition, Obama's white grandfather, who he calls Gramps, and his mother's second husband, Lolo, are mentioned frequently as other male figures of influence in Obama's life.