Characters

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Chava
Chava is the third oldest daughter of Tevye and Golde. She likes books and learning. She reluctantly falls in love with Fydeka, a Russian. When she marries him, her parents disown her. But when the Jews are forced out of the village, she visits her parents and they acknowledge her.

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The Constable
The Constable is a local Russian official. Though friendly with Tevye, he follows his orders to first pillage the Jews, then force them to leave the area all together.

Fydeka
Fydeka is a young Russian man who is attracted to Chava. Noting her interest in books, he gives her a book to begin their courtship. He eventually marries her, though their union results in Chava’s family disowning her. When the Russians force the Jews to leave the village, Fydeka tells Tevye and Golde that he and Chava are going to Cracow because they do not want to live in a country that treats people this way.

Golde
Golde is Tevye’s wife and mother of his five daughters. They have been married for twenty-five years, and she is Tevye’s helpmate in life and work. She runs their home efficiently. Like Tevye, Golde wants to uphold tradition, while making sure her children are taken care of. She is the first to agree to the match between Lazar and Tzeitel and only follows her husband’s lead reluctantly when he tries to go against tradition. Still, she does not want to break off relations with her daughter Chava when she marries a Russian man. Her love of family outweighs tradition in the end.

Hodel
Hodel is Tevye and Golde’s second oldest daughter. Though she is a traditionalist like her parents in the beginning, she falls in love with Perchik, the radical. She breaks tradition by telling her father she is marrying Perchik and only asking for his blessing. Hodel eventually moves to Siberia to marry Perchik.

Motel Kamzoil
Motel is the impoverished tailor who is secretly engaged to Tzeitel. Though he is afraid of Tevye, he asks him for Tzeitel’s hand in marriage when he learns about the match with Lazar. Motel believes that even an impoverished tailor deserves a little happiness. He turns out to be a good husband for Tzeitel. Motel desperately wants a sewing machine and eventually gets it. At the end of the play, he and Tzeitel are moving to Warsaw so they can save money and eventually emigrate to the United States.

Perchik
Perchik is a young man from Kiev with an education. Under an arrangement with Tevye, he gives lessons to the daughters in exchange for food. Perchik falls in love with Hodel and becomes engaged to her. Perchik is responsible for introducing the idea of breaking tradition into the village. He convinces Hodel to dance with him. He believes also that the villagers should have an awareness of what is going on in the outside world, especially how forces are working against Jews within Russia. Perchik is eventually arrested in Kiev and sent to Siberia, where Hodel goes to marry him.

Tevye
Tevye is the main character in Fiddler on the Roof. He is an impoverished dairyman and community leader with a wife and five daughters. He has a loving relationship with his family. During the play, he struggles to support them and uphold traditions. He is not inflexible, however. He agrees to let Lazar Wolf marry his eldest daughter Tzeitel as Yente the matchmaker arranged, but when she wants to marry someone else, he lets her have her way. He disowns his daughter Chava when she marries a Russian, only acknowledging her at the end of the play.

Tevye is also generous, despite his stubbornness. When he realizes...

(The entire section contains 962 words.)

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  • Characters
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