The Night Circus

by

Erin Morgenstern

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Lainie Burgess Character Analysis

Lainie is one of the original organizers of Le Cirque des Rêves, along with her sister, Tara. The sisters’ role in the project is somewhat hazy, though Chandresh Lefevre claims that they are experts at “small details.” Both sisters are ignorant of the magic that unspools at the circus, as well as the grave competition between Celia and Marco. They do harbor some suspicions that something fishy is going on, though. For instance, Tara realizes that she is not aging and attempts to speak with Ethan Barris about her concerns. Ethan promptly sends her to speak with Mr. A.H.—an encounter that ends chillingly in Tara’s death by apparent suicide in front of a train. In the wake of her sister’s sudden death, Lainie becomes deeply suspicious about the circus as well.

Lainie Burgess Quotes in The Night Circus

The The Night Circus quotes below are all either spoken by Lainie Burgess or refer to Lainie Burgess. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor edition of The Night Circus published in 2012.
Part 1: Primordium Quotes

“My new game, as you so appropriately call it, is a circus.”

“A circus? How marvelous!”

“Like a carnival?”

“More than a carnival, more than a circus, really, like no circus anyone has ever seen.”

Related Characters: Chandresh Lefevre (speaker), Ethan Barris (speaker), Lainie Burgess (speaker)
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Intersections Quotes

“If you ever need anything from me, I would like you to ask. I am tired of everyone keeping their secrets so well that they get other people killed. We are all involved in your game, and it seems we are not as easily repaired as teacups.”

Related Characters: Lainie Burgess (speaker), Celia Bowen, Tara Burgess
Page Number: 340
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5: Divination Quotes

“I’m not going to give you your memory back. I don’t know if I could even if I tried, though Widge could probably manage it. At this point, I don’t think you need that weight on you. I think looking forward will be better than looking back.”

Related Symbols: The Bonfire
Page Number: 498
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lainie Burgess Character Timeline in The Night Circus

The timeline below shows where the character Lainie Burgess appears in The Night Circus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Primordium
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...there is Ethan Barris, who is an engineer and architect, as well as Tara and Lainie Burgess, who “do a little bit of everything” and will be indispensable for their keen... (full context)
Part 2: Illumination
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...before midnight, he looks for Marco but cannot find him, and he bumps into the Burgess sisters, Tara and Lainie, instead. They watch the lighting of the bonfire, and when the... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
...he watches the handsome young man. She determines that Mr. Barris is in love with Lainie Burgess, though she cannot tell if Lainie knows. Celia finds that Tara Burgess, with her... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Vienna, 1894: Tara Burgess comes to see Mr. Barris at his office in Vienna. When they greet each other,... (full context)
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...him why he left London. He acknowledges that he left for the same reason the Burgess sisters travel so often: he is aging more slowly than he should be. This is... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
London, 1895: While Lainie is on an extended holiday in Italy, Tara picks up the card Mr. Barris gave... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...Glasgow. The funeral is quiet, with a tone of thoughtful melancholy. Something is off about Lainie, though no one can put a finger on it. She greets mourners with a smile... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Marco wishes he could protect the people outside the circus, like the late Tara Burgess, the way the bonfire protects the performers. Celia did not realize that the bonfire was... (full context)
Part 3: Intersections
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Lainie goes to visit Mr. Barris, who has moved his office from London to Vienna, and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...a conversation about the circus, just like he didn’t want to have it with Tara. Lainie guesses that he knows what’s going on, and Mr. Barris admits that he does, and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Lainie meets with Celia at the Pera Palace Hotel in Constantinople. After some small talk, Lainie... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Lainie just listens and sips her tea. Then, as she is about to take another sip... (full context)
Part 5: Divination
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Chandresh looks at the list of names, noting Mr. Barris and Lainie Burgess, and he asks who Mr. Clarke is, and Poppet explains that he is a... (full context)