The characters in “AWOL” by Deb Shoval are Joey - a young lesbian woman enrolled in the army, Rayna - a married woman with whom Joey is having an affair with, members of Joey’s family (mother, father, brothers) and Rayna’s daughters and husband. Since the most important characters are Joey, Rayna and Joey’s parents, we will only focus on them in this section.


Joey is the protagonist in the short film. She appears to be very young, probably about 19 years old. She has long brown hair, a slender constitution, and wears mostly sport clothes suggesting she is boyish. Joey is not very happy about her job in the army and her upcoming deployment in Afghanistan and she hints that her mother was the one who pushed her to join the army.



Rayna is a married woman with two daughters who is having a lesbian affair with the protagonist. Unlike Joey, who is more masculine and open about her sexual orientation, Rayna keeps her passion for Joey a secret and is very feminine.


Joey’s parents

Joey’s parents know that their daughter is lesbian and they are probably also aware of her affair with Rayna. In fact, it is suggested that Joey’s mother pushed her to join the army precisely because she was a lesbian.


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