Character Sketch of The Girl Who Can


Give a Character Sketch of Adjoa, Nana and Maami from ICSE Class 10 English Lesson The Girl Who Can


Character Sketch of Adjoa


Adjoa is a seven year old girl, the main character and narrator of the story. She is sweet and innocent. She is blessed with analytical thinking with which she unravels her mind to us. Her grandmother Nana, is dominating while the mother, Maami is subdued. She finds it difficult to decided whether she should speak her mind or choose to remain quiet. Several times, she indulges in self-talk which shows that she does not approve of the reactions given by the elders. Adjoa is sensitive. Her mother’s tearful eyes indicate to her that there is some tension going on.  


She is progressive and very mature for her age. She wants to end Nana’s complaints regarding her thin legs and when she participates and wins the district race, Nana gets the answer automatically. 


The Girl who can – overview: The story highlights the primitive society’s perception of the role of a woman, being that of a child-bearer only. The writer tries to break this perception through the character of Adjoa, a seven year old girl. When she puts her so-called ‘thin legs’ to good use and wins running competition, this is an eye-opener for the grandmother who always felt that the thin, long legs of Adjoa were not useful because they could not support solid hips which were required for bearing children. The debate between tradition and modernity is displayed when Adjoa is trapped between her dominating grandmother, Nana and her subdued mother Kaya (Maami).  


Some Questions on Character Sketch of Adjoa

Q1. Where does Adjoa live and with whom?
Q2. Describe Adjoa’s qualities as mentioned in the story.
Q3. Does Adjoa feel disheartened when Nana complains about her skinny legs?


Character Sketch of Nana

Nana is Adjoa’s grandmother, the matriarch of the house. She is authoritative and knows how to silence the other person. She asserts her superiority and thinks that she is the most knowledgeable. Nana imposes her views on Adjoa and Maami. She makes fun of Adjoa’s opinion which curtails the child from speaking up. She has traditional views about a woman’s role in the society. She criticizes Mammi for choosing such a husband and Adjoa for her thin legs.

Adjoa and Maami often stand in opposition to her views, but she comes out to be a dynamic character. Nana’s opinion changes towards the end of the story when she realizes that Adjoa’s legs made her win the district race. She feels proud and consoles herself that a woman’s body can have other uses than bearing children.


Some Questions on Character Sketch of Nana

Q1. What is Nana’s opinion about a woman’s role?
Q2. Why does Nana criticize Maami?
Q3. Does Nana love Adjoa?
Q4. Why is Nana sad that Adjoa has thin legs?


Character Sketch of Maami

Adjoa’s mother, Kaya, is affectionately called ‘Maami’ by Adjoa. Her submissive nature gives her a back seat as she is overpowered by the dominating Nana. Maami is shown to be weak and is reluctant to speak up. The story portrays women at three different levels with regard to boldness – Nana is the dominating one, Adjoa is realistic while Maami is meek.

Maami shows love for Adjoa and supports her. However, she is not courageous enough to support her and to speak up in front of Nana. She remains quiet when her mother blames her for choosing the wrong husband. Maami represents the suffering women of the society who cannot stand against the oppressors and give in to the so-called customs of the society.


Some Questions on Character Sketch of Maami

Q1. What is Maami’s name?
Q2. Describe Maami.
Q3. Does Maami love Adjoa and Nana?


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