Last Updated on May 27, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 330
The Dew Breaker
The dew breaker is the title character and the center of the stories. The dew breaker is a character from Haitian-Creole folklore and a member of the Tonton Macoutes. The Tonton Macoutes were torturers for the Duvalier regimes, mostly illiterates who dressed up as zombies from Haitian...
(The entire section contains 330 words.)
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The Dew Breaker
The dew breaker is the title character and the center of the stories. The dew breaker is a character from Haitian-Creole folklore and a member of the Tonton Macoutes. The Tonton Macoutes were torturers for the Duvalier regimes, mostly illiterates who dressed up as zombies from Haitian folklore to strike fear into Voodoo believers. The dew breaker is called this because after the trauma of torture, the victims can never cry or speak of their experience again. At times, the dew breaker is shown as a loving father with his family. At other times, he is also a figurative character.
Ka is the dew breaker's daughter, a Haitian-American sculptor. Ka may be representative of the author—she is rebellious, cynical, an aspiring artist, and trying to come to terms with Haiti's past and her family's role.
Anne is Ka's mother, a devout believer in miracles who is trying to hold her family together.
Dany and Michel
Dany and Michel are Haitian Americans who have lost much of their connection to Haiti. Many of their family members were killed. They return to their home country to try to reestablish some kind of connection.
Christophe is Michel's father, a local opportunist taking advantage of loss and chaos. He is in a complicated relationship with his son.
Gabrielle is a television actress and daughter of a tortured dissident.
Nadine is a nurse in intensive care who has become isolated after she becoming pregnant and having an abortion. She supports her family in Haiti and takes an interest in a cancer patient, Ms. Hinds, who is unable to speak.
Beatrice Saint Fort
Beatrice is the retiring bridal seamstress whom Aline, a journalist, is interviewing. She is blunt and judges people by their nationality, work, and homes. She finally tells Aline the story of how a prison guard arrested and beat her for refusing to go on a date with him. The story makes clear that the guard is Ka's father, the dew breaker.