Naked Lunch | Study Guide

William Burroughs

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Naked Lunch | Characters

Character Description
Narrator The narrator is also known as William Lee, just Lee, and Willy the Agent. He travels from New York, across the United States, and into Mexico before traveling into extradimensional or hallucinatory realms, where he documents the depraved activities of the people he meets. Read More
Dr. Benway Dr. Benway is one of the narrator's contacts with Islam Inc. He is a discredited surgeon who continues to practice medicine in increasingly disreputable circumstances, which doesn't seem to bother Benway because of his own highly flexible ethics. Read More
A.J. A.J. is an agent of Islam Inc. who operates under the cover of being a fun-loving international playboy. He commits disruptive and dangerous acts under the guise of harmless pranking, sowing chaos wherever he goes. Read More
Hassan Most frequently referred to as Hassan, the narrator's other colleague within Islam Inc. is Salvador Hassan O'Leary. Sometimes called Salvador or O'Leary, and operating under a number of other aliases, he starts his career as a hustler and rises to become a prominent international merchant in drugs and sex. Read More
Clem and Jody Clem and Jody operate as a unit for Islam Inc. They are said to be sympathetic to the Russians, so they travel the world wreaking havoc in the name of making the United States look bad.
Andrew Keif Andrew Keif is a novelist living in Interzone.
Aracknid Aracknid is a chauffeur in Interzone, best known for being both straight and unattached.
Beagle The Beagle is a drug addict who shoots up during the blue (pornographic) movie at A.J.'s party.
Dr. Berger Dr. Berger hosts a radio program in which he talks to sufferers of various mental illnesses.
Brad Brad is a gay man who moves to New York and becomes a jewelry designer, eventually ripping off his clients to pay his gambling debts.
Bradley the Buyer Bradley the Buyer is an undercover narcotics agent in Mexico who derives satisfaction from rubbing against his customers and eventually bodily absorbs his boss.
Carl Carl is a man who has a hallucinatory experience when he goes to visit his friend Joselito in a sanitarium. He may or may not also be Carl Peterson.
Carl Peterson Carl Peterson, who may or may not be Joselito's friend, is forced to disclose his past homosexual experience under Dr. Benway's inquisition.
Clarence Cowie Clarence Cowie is the subject of Dr. Berger's experiment to produce a "deanxietized man." He transforms into a giant centipede and is killed by the audience.
County Clerk The County Clerk is a racist and corrupt official in Interzone.
Expeditor The Expeditor escapes the humiliation of being president of the Island near Interzone by changing his name and expediting imports into Interzone.
Gimp The Gimp is a junkie who turns informer. He is killed via a hot shot, or a shot of poison passed off as heroin, as retribution.
Mr. Hyslop Mr. Hyslop is A.J.'s secretary. He seems unenthusiastic, but he goes along with A.J.'s antics.
Inspector The Inspector is interviewed by Your Reporter while he applies ointment to treat pubic lice. He shakes the Reporter's hand with ointment still on his own hand.
Jane Jane is a prostitute in Mexico whose pimp forces his ideas on her. She dies a year after she meets the narrator.
Jim Jim is Brad's partner who meets him in jail and gets revenge on one of Brad's former clients.
Joe Joe is a café worker who sees the Sailor pick up a young man for an exchange of sex and drugs.
Johnny Johnny is one of the performers in the blue movie A.J. shows at his annual party.
Joselito Joselito is a young man who is diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to a sanitarium.
Leif Leif is an importer cursed with terrible luck, trying to get a shipment of K.Y. into Interzone.
Mark Mark is one of the performers in the blue movie shown at A.J.'s annual party.
Marvie Marvie is an importer and exporter who gets involved with a complicated deal to ship K.Y. into Interzone.
Mary Mary is one of the performers in the blue movie shown at A.J.'s annual party.
Miguel Miguel visits the narrator shortly after having kicked his heroin habit. The narrator finds his presence discomforting, as he is still using at the time.
NG Joe NG Joe suffers from Bang-utot, a disorder that makes him believe his penis will kill him, so he uses heroin to prevent an erection.
Nick Nick is the narrator's drug dealer in New York.
O'Brien O'Brien is one of the narcotics agents the narrator believes he shoots in New York.
Party Leader The Party Leader organizes riots and resistance in Interzone.
Doc Parker Doc Parker is a pharmacist in Interzone who gossips with the County Clerk.
Professor The Professor at Interzone University whips his students into an animal-like frenzy.
Rube The Rube is one of the narrator's fellow junkies in New York, but he is left behind when he becomes a liability.
Sailor The Sailor is a drug dealer and addict who helps "Fats" Terminal traffic in Black Meat.
Dr. "Fingers" Schafer Dr. Schafer is a known lobotomist (also known as brain-rapist) who presents the "All-American Deanxietized Man" at a conference and sees his subject killed after he changes into a giant centipede.
Great Slashtubitch The Great Slashtubitch acts as an emcee for the entertainment at A.J.'s annual party.
Marty Steel Marty Steel is a prominent drug dealer in New York, described as "skeptical."
Students at Interzone University Students at Interzone University learn about sexual dominance and follow their Professor with almost slavish devotion.
"Fats" Terminal "Fats" Terminal is a dealer in Black Meat in Interzone.
Vigilante The Vigilante is a junkie prone to fighting and killing, eventually sent to a mental institution.
Willy the Disk Willy the Disk is a junkie the New York City police use to track other users.
Xiuptutol Xiuptutol is a medicine man who others fear because he has the power to identify murderers.
Your Reporter Your Reporter interviews the Inspector and must tolerate the Inspector's rude behavior.
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