55 pages 1 hour read

George Orwell

Burmese Days

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1934

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Chapters 11-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11

One morning, Flory takes Elizabeth to the bazaar, which he thinks she will be interested in seeing. Elizabeth wonders why Flory always tries to get her interested in the natives and their “filthy, disgusting habits” (108). However, she follows him anyway, unable to explain her reluctance to Flory. Entering the bazaar, Elizabeth recoils from the smells, the noise, and the crowd, asking if they can get out of the heat. Flory suggests that they go to Li Yeik’s shop, a Chinese grocery. Although Elizabeth would rather go back to the club, she is comforted to see that Yeik’s shop has a European storefront and British and German goods. Inside, a clerk hands Flory a letter from Ma Hla May demanding 50 rupees. Flory is surprised that May is blackmailing him much sooner than expected and tells the clerk that he will respond later.

Inside, two Chinese women roll cigarettes while a naked child crawls on the floor. Elizabeth is revolted that the women’s feet are in tiny slippers, but Flory explains that they deform their feet, considering small feet beautiful. Elizabeth declares that foot binding is savage, but Flory defends the practice, calling the Chinese more civilized than the English.