Carla Carter is the main character of the short story “My Polish Teacher’s Tie” by Helen Dunmore. She works as a “part-time catering assistant” (p. 103, l. 30) at a British school. Carla is also half-Polish (p. 100, l. 13), which she reveals when she recalls losing touch with her native language when she was a child. Carla also has a daughter named Jade (p. 102, l. 8). The narrative does not reveal whether Carla is married or not, but we can assume she is a single mother.
One of the elements that characterize Carla is her lost connection with the Polish language. Carla is the daughter of a Polish mother and a British father and was taught Polish when she was a child. However, before going to school, her father forbade the use of Polish: “ ‘You’ll get her all mixed up, ...