A grotesquely fat, clever, and greedy magistrate in Kyauktada who has grown powerful due to his impressive skills of manipulation. He plans to destroy Dr. Veraswami and eventually earn a place in the European Club. His life is given to plots and schemes, but he plans to atone for his copious sins before he dies; however, though he attains earthly success, he dies before he can do anything truly good.
U Po Kyin's servant.
Ko Ba Sein
The head clerk of the Deputy Commissioner's office; loyal to U Po Kyin.
U Po Kyin's simple and traditional wife. Ma Kin is the only one U Po Kyin seeks to impress, as she does not fawn all over him like everyone else does. She fears for his soul but approves of his plan to destroy the doctor once she learns her husband might be in the Club.
The local manager of a timber firm. He is simple-minded and dedicated to his pursuit of pleasure; as such, he is often drunk and quite lecherous, although his wife tries to keep him in check.
A bitter and mean-spirited European timber merchant, Ellis harbors an all-consuming hatred toward the natives. He takes every opportunity he can to excoriate them, and is almost killed during the rebellion for an act of violence.
The acting Divisional Forest Officer. He is usually quiet, but likes dirty jokes. He is not particularly fond of the natives. He is killed during the rebellion.
The European District Commissioner of Police, Westfield is melancholy and soldierly. He does not care much for the natives, but is less vocal than Ellis.
A thirty-five year old European with sallow skin and a dark birthmark on his face, Flory comes to Burma to work as a manager of a timber form. Generally a good person and capable, he is burdened by his growing distaste for the British Raj (which leads to tensions with the other Europeans) and his acute loneliness. He thinks Elizabeth Lackersteen is the answer to the latter problem, but her repulsion of his efforts leads him to eventually commit suicide. Before he dies, however, he does demonstrate courage by nominating the doctor to the Club.
The kind-hearted village doctor. While Burmese, he admires the Europeans and their culture and thinks they are good for Burma. He is targeted by U Po Kyin and believes his best chance of surviving the lies is to become a member of the Club. His fortunes rise and fall with Flory, however, and he eventually is disgraced and transfers hospitals after Flory dies.
The wife of Mr. Lackersteen and aunt of Elizabeth, she is always trying to keep her husband from lechery. She also tries to marry off Elizabeth. She is prejudiced against the natives, lazy, gossipy, and easily frightened.
Ma Hla May
A Burmese woman who becomes Flory's native and is then cast off once he meets Elizabeth, Ma Hla May is young, tiny, and pretty. She does not love Flory but instead cares for the prestige that being a white man's mistress affords her. Once she is spurned, U Po Kyin uses her to destroy Flory. She eventually enters a brothel and is treated poorly.
Flory's devoted servant, Ko S'la is lazy but prides himself in taking care of his master. He has two wives and numerous children. He does not care for Ma Hla May or Elizabeth, and wants to be the only influence in Flory's household.
One of Ko S'la's contentious wives.
Twenty-two years old, Elizabeth comes to Burma to stay with her aunt and uncle after her mother dies. She despises intellectualism and art, preferring indolent wealth and power. She hopes to marry a European in Burma, and considers Flory before becoming disgusted by his birthmark and favorable treatment toward the natives. She hopes to marry the pretentious Verrall, but ends up with Mr. Macgregor. She becomes a perfect example of a white woman in a colonial empire: imperious and prejudiced.
One of Ko S'la's contentious wives.
A Eurasian; a clerk to an Indian moneylender.
A Eurasian; a clerk to some of the pleaders.
A handsome, cold, and arrogant young man sent to Kyauktada to head the Military Police. Disdainful of the other Europeans, Verrall cares only for polo. He romances Elizabeth but leaves the colony after a month with no marriage proposal or even a goodbye.
Ko S'la's younger brother, and Ma Hla May's other lover.
Burmese Days Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Burmese Days is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
GradeSaver's study guide for the unit is readily accessible and has all the information you need. Simply navigate to the study guide by using the link at the top of the page. From there, you can link both the theme page and short summary.
I read this book so long ago but I'll do my best. Dr. Veraswami is an Indian doctor who wants to get into the coveted British club because he thinks that if his standing with the Europeans is good. John Flory is a friendless and jaded...