Ilia Artamonov (ih-LYAH ahr-TAH-meh-nov), a dictatorial stranger who builds a factory in Dromov. His business and power continue to grow despite increased resentment against him.
Peter Artamonov, Ilia Artamonov’s eldest son and the heir to his business. Blind to the changes time has made in the attitude of his workers, he ends his days as a prisoner of the revolutionists.
Nikita Artamonov (ni-KIH-teh), Ilia Artamonov’s hunchbacked son. Failing in his efforts to become a good monk, he leaves the religious life and is seen frequently in the company of the revolutionary Vialov.
Alexey Artamonov (ah-lehk-SAY), Ilia Artamonov’s adopted son and business representative.
Ilia, Peter Artamonov’s elder son. Indifferent to the affairs of the factory, he leaves home to become a historian and, later, a revolutionary.
Yakov (YAH-kehf), Peter Artamonov’s younger son and the heir to his father’s place in the factory. Fearing for his life among the increasingly restless workers, he flees, only to be killed by robbers on the train to Moscow.
Tikhon Vialov (TIH-hehn VYAH-lehf), a worker-philosopher in the Artamonov factory. As a soldier of the revolution, he becomes Peter Artamonov’s jailer.
Natalia Baimakov (nah-TAH-lih-yeh bi-MAH-kehf), Peter Artamonov’s wife.
Uliana Baimakov (ew-lih-AH-neh), the wife of Evgeny Baimakov, and, as his widow, the mistress of Ilia Artamonov.
Evgeny Baimakov (ehv-GEH-nihy), the mayor of Dromov.
Elena (eh-LEH-neh), the daughter of Peter Artamonov.
Miron (MIH-rehn), Alexey Artamonov’s son.
Pauline, the mistress of Yakov Artamonov.