Ivan Prisypkin (prih-SIHP-kihn), alias Pierre Skripkin, a former worker and Communist Party member. A man with philistine values and tastes, intent on improving his social status, Prisypkin pretentiously adopts the French name Pierre and abandons his working-class girlfriend, Zoya, to marry Elzevira, a member of the petit bourgeoisie. Amid the drunken revelry of his wedding celebration, the house burns down. All the bodies of the wedding party are recovered except Prisypkin’s. Fifty years later, when Prisypkin’s frozen body is discovered in an ice-filled cellar, he is unfrozen. the boisterous, vulgar Prisypkin, who curses, drinks, sings, and plays the guitar, finds himself out of place in a sterile, rationally planned, regimented futuristic society. Placed in a cage in a zoo when other citizens are infected by his contagious behavior and begin to imitate him, he is put on display along with the bedbug resurrected with him as a specimen and relic of the bourgeois past. In the final scene of the play, Prisypkin, alone and dismayed, suddenly turns to the audience and joyfully recognizes the spectators as fellow human beings who share his weaknesses and vices.
Zoya Berezkina (ZOH-yah beh-RYOZ-kih-nah), a working girl. A simple, modest, unpretentious young woman in love with Prisypkin, Zoya is driven to despair when she is jilted...
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