Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 415
Homebody is the protagonist of the play, who leaves her unfulfilling life in England in search of meaning and excitement in Afghanistan. Homebody is ignorant of the true state of Afghanistan and is figuratively blinded by her cultural and political ignorance of Afghanistan's reality of brutal Taliban rule. This ignorance eventually kills her.
Milton Ceiling is Homebody's cold and analytical husband. He is a computer expert and does not provide passion or excitement in Homebody's life. He travels to Kabul to find Homebody, discovering that she has been killed.
Priscilla Ceiling is Homebody's daughter. She is a lonely girl who is distraught and heartbroken at the discovery of her mother's death. While her father seems to simply accept her mother's death, Priscilla is determined to find out the truth of her mother's disappearance.
Khwaja is a Tajik Afghani who is a poet and agrees to be hired by Priscilla to help her search Kabul for her mother. Khwaja is able to speak the international language, Esperanto, and implores Priscilla to take some poems back with her to a contact in London. Khwaja is tragically executed by the Taliban for this violation of law. Poetry has a deep and beautiful history in Afghanistan, and Khawja's character is a reference to the tragic fall of poetry under the Taliban.
Zai Garshi is a minor character who also had a drastically different life before the Taliban rose to power. Zai was an actor and now is a vendor on the streets of Kabul. He informs Priscilla that Homebody did not die but instead is married to an Afghani doctor.
Mahala is an Afghani woman whose spirit and mind begins to break under the horrible of oppression of Taliban rule. As the Taliban have only recently come to power, Mahala vividly remembers life as a librarian in Kabul. Under the Taliban, the library was destroyed, and Mahala is designated to a dehumanizing subservient status. All of her intellect and aspirations no longer matter. While Mahala's husband, the Afghani doctor who supposedly is married to Homebody, insists that she has gone insane, Priscilla understands that she is responding in a rational way to suddenly being stripped of all of her human rights. Mahala is able to escape her oppressive life by obtaining permission to marry Milton and move to England.
Quango is an Englishman who has a British government job and lives in Afghanistan, smoking opium. He manipulates Priscilla into sex by granting Mahala's emigration letter in exchange for sex.