The Breadwinner

by

Deborah Ellis

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Breadwinner can help.

The Window Woman Character Analysis

The window woman is a mysterious woman who lives in an apartment right above where Parvana sits in the market. Parvana only sees the woman once and never learns her name, but they form a friendship of sorts as the Window Woman drops occasional gifts onto Parvana’s blanket below, such as pieces of embroidery or painted beads. Parvana can tell that the Window Woman’s life isn’t safe or pleasant; she once hears what sounds like the woman’s husband beating her. When Parvana and Father leave Kabul, Parvana plants flowers where she usually puts her blanket so the Window Woman knows she’s not coming back.

The Window Woman Quotes in The Breadwinner

The The Breadwinner quotes below are all either spoken by The Window Woman or refer to The Window Woman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Afghanistan, History, and Pride Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of The Breadwinner published in 2014.
Chapter 12 Quotes

The little gifts from the window kept landing on Parvana’s blanket every couple of weeks. Sometimes it was a piece of embroidery. Sometimes it was a piece of candy or a single bead.

It was as if the Window Woman was saying, “I’m still here,” in the only way she could.

Related Characters: Parvana, The Window Woman
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“Do none of you appreciate nature? This boy has undertaken to bring a bit of beauty into our gray marketplace, and do you thank him? Do you help him?” An old man pushed his way to the front of the little gathering. With difficulty, he knelt down to help Parvana plant the flowers. “Afghans love beautiful things,” he said, “but we have seen so much ugliness, we sometimes forget how wonderful a thing like a flower is.”

Related Characters: Parvana, The Window Woman
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Breadwinner LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Breadwinner PDF

The Window Woman Character Timeline in The Breadwinner

The timeline below shows where the character The Window Woman appears in The Breadwinner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
...that the window is open. Stepping closer, Parvana catches sight of the woman inside. The Window Woman smiles and shuts her window. A few days later, Parvana laughs as a tea boy... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender Relations Theme Icon
Agency, Maturity, and Childhood Theme Icon
...One afternoon during a lull, something lands on Parvana’s head; it clearly came from the Window Woman . It’s a beautiful embroidered handkerchief. Shauzia runs up before Parvana can look up at... (full context)
Chapter 11
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Agency, Maturity, and Childhood Theme Icon
Parvana spends her first morning back in the market writing letters. The Window Woman drops a red wooden bead. As Parvana rolls it between her fingers, she thinks of... (full context)
Chapter 12
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
...with. Parvana declines—she doesn’t think she can leave her family—but she tells Shauzia about the Window Woman and her gifts. Shauzia wonders if the woman is a princess and Parvana briefly imagines... (full context)
Gender Relations Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
...with so little time and such limited supplies. Every few weeks, another gift from the Window Woman lands on Parvana’s blanket. It’s like she’s telling Parvana that she’s there in the only... (full context)
Chapter 15
Afghanistan, History, and Pride Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
...hit her head. It’s a tiny camel made of beads. Parvana is relieved that the Window Woman is alive and well enough to toss a gift down, and she tries to come... (full context)