Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Adam Krug is a civilized man and a leading, internationally renowned scholar of philosophy living in Padukgrad. Padukgrad has just been taken over by a one-party political system dedicated to "Ekwilism." Because of his high profile, Krug is encouraged to promote the party of the "average man," whether or not he agrees with their platform of conformity and anti-individualism. His refusal is met with more and more coercion by the state, including the imprisonment of his friends and the kidnapping of his son. He ignores his friends' warnings to take his son and flee the totalitarian state, and he and his son end up paying the ultimate price.

Olga Krug is Adam's late wife, who has recently died in a surgery, leaving Adam and their son behind.

David Krug is Adam and Olga's only son. He is kidnapped by the state and later, in a case of mistaken identity, is murdered while in the custody of Paduk's henchmen.

Paduk is the leader of the party of "Ekwilism," which now rules Padukgrad, and a former schoolmate of Krug's whom Krug had nicknamed "The Toad." Padukgrad is an obvious poke at the pomposity of authoritarian leaders that preach equality while exalting themselves (think Leningrad). Paduk tries everything he can to compel Krug to support his political party, including imprisoning Krug's friends and kidnapping his son. He even offers to release dozens of political prisoners if Krug will only lend his support, but, as a man of principle and conscience, Krug cannot.

Ember is a Shakespeare scholar as well as Adam's best friend. She is imprisoned by the egalitarian dictator Paduk in a ploy to try to force Adam to publicly support Paduk's party of "Ekwilism."

Mariette is the Krug's family servant, who is now also working as a spy for the dictator Paduk. She tries to seduce Krug and eventually succeeds. The use of "honeytraps" in such spy work was not unusual, as the Russian Nabovok was well aware.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access



Critical Essays