Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Hugo Pludek

Hugo Pludek, an amateur chess player and, later, liquidator of the Liquidation Office and Inauguration Service. Young, commanding, and insightful, Hugo attends the garden party of the Liquidation Office looking for a career; his penetration of the bureaucratic paranoia allows him to move up quickly in politics, treating his confrontations as moves in a chess game.

Maxy Falk

Maxy Falk, the Inaugurator of Parties, Conferences, and Celebrations. A young man with a sense of humor, he is trying to reform the dogmatic institution of the Inauguration Service. He keeps the clerk and secretary of the garden party on their toes, until Hugo decides to liquidate the Service.


Director, the head of the Liquidation Office, a womanizer and a bureaucrat. While in the act of liquidating the Inauguration Service, he discovers that his own office is next on the liquidation list. Losing a verbal duel with Hugo, he “hits the sack,” climbing into the wastebasket with the Secretary.


Secretary, who works at the garden party and in the Liquidation Office. Unmarried, she is an attractive woman with an ongoing relationship with the Director and a budding relationship with the Clerk. Alternately emotional and businesslike, she carries out the liquidation of property, including the Director’s clothes.


Clerk, who...

(The entire section is 433 words.)