Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Chudakov (chuh-dah-KOV), a Soviet inventor. He is a visionary who wants to build a time machine that will enable people to extend moments of joy and contract periods of sorrow. Single-minded, serious, hardworking, and without government support, he succeeds in making contact with the future. At the end of the play, his invention carries him and many others a hundred years into the future.

The Phosphorescent Woman

The Phosphorescent Woman, an emissary from the year 2030 who is contacted by Chudakov’s invention. She comes from a time when Communism has triumphed worldwide. Articulate and authoritative, she intends to bring into the perfect state those twentieth century citizens most responsible for building it. Her Communism is humanitarian rather than ideological, commonsensical rather than doctrinaire.


Pobedonosikov (poh-bee-doh-NOH-see-kov), the chief of the Federal Bureau of Coordination. He is a Soviet bureaucrat in love with power. Although he speaks the jargon of an egalitarian people’s revolution, he delights in acquiring privileges and pulling rank. He maintains authority by reminding everyone of his (self-inflated) role in the 1917 Revolution. When the Phosphorescent Woman arrives to carry the best Communists into the future, he tries to control the operation but instead is left behind.


(The entire section is 585 words.)