The Guide


R. K. Narayan

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The Guide Characters


The protagonist and part-narrator of The Guide, Raju is a trickster-charlatan whose greatest talent lies in re-inventing himself. With roots in a modest household in the town of Malgudi in southern India, Raju knows… read analysis of Raju

Rosie / Nalini

The young and beautiful wife of Marco, and love object of Raju, Rosie’s most striking quality is her immense genius for dance—most clearly manifested in the “serpent dance” she performs only on… read analysis of Rosie / Nalini

Marco Polo

The husband of Rosie, Marco is a serious, studious, reticent scholar of ancient civilizations whose only passion is for his work. His research into the sites of ancient civilization has turned him into an… read analysis of Marco Polo


A rather grumpy taxi driver, who is often hired by Raju to act as driver on the tours on which Raju takes the many tourists arriving in Malgudi on the railway. In his role… read analysis of Gaffur

Raju’s Father

A modest shopkeeper in the town of Malgudi, Raju’s father is by turns soft and severe with his son, whom he takes shopping with him at times, and whom he threatens with violence… read analysis of Raju’s Father
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Raju’s Mother

An uneducated, traditional woman, Raju’s mother is a devoted wife and mother, who barely leaves the immediate vicinity of the house that her husband has built in Malgudi. Although she seems to be… read analysis of Raju’s Mother

Raju’s Uncle

Elder brother to Raju’s mother, Raju’s uncle arrives in Malgudi to set his nephew straight, once the latter ruins his father’s railway shop business and takes up with Rosie, whom he… read analysis of Raju’s Uncle


Velan, a local from the small village of Mangal in southern India, comes across Raju sitting on the banks of the river one day. Velan is trusting and respectful. Upon setting eyes on Raju, he… read analysis of Velan

The Villagers

Residents of the village of Mangal in southern India, located not far from a river bank. The villagers, following Velan’s example, put their faith in Raju as a spiritual guide. They suffer especially under… read analysis of The Villagers

Velan’s Brother

A rather dull-witted 21-year-old who goes to inform Raju that his brother Velan has been injured in a fight, which has broken out as a result of a drought that afflicts the villagers. In… read analysis of Velan’s Brother

The Sait

A merchant who acts as Raju’s creditor in Malgudi, and from whom Raju supplies the railway shop. When Raju, busy with Rosie and Marco, fails to repay his debts, the Sait is… read analysis of The Sait


Raju’s secretary, who works for him once Raju reinvents himself as the manager of Rosie/Nalini’s dance career. Raju’s trust in Mani begins to waver once Rosie discovers that Raju has hidden Marco’s… read analysis of Mani
Minor Characters
The Master
An old man who oversees a pyol school in Malgudi, a school in which lessons are held on the old man’s stoop. Raju’s father sends Raju to this school to remove him from the influence of the construction workers who are building the railway.
A reticent man who looks after Peak House, the house at the top of Mempi Hills. Raju takes Marco and Rosie to stay there while Marco studies nearby cave paintings.