Aliokhin is a successful farmer who runs a mill. He owns a large, plain house where he employs at least one servant. Aliokhin is described as tall, stout, long-haired, and around forty years old. When his friends Ivan and Bourkin arrive unannounced, he welcomes them gladly and stops working for the day to properly host his guests.
Bourkin is a friend of Ivan’s who accompanies him when they visit Aliokhin. Bourkin is a teacher who enjoys listening to Ivan tell stories, and he keeps Ivan from straying too far from the storyline. Bourkin is an even-tempered and mildmannered man.
Ivan Ivanich is the central character in ‘‘Gooseberries.’’ He is a veterinary surgeon who tells his friends Bourkin and Aliokhin a story about his younger brother, Nicholai.
Ivan is a cynical man who sees his brother as delusional, arrogant, and misguided. Ivan is unable to judge his brother’s decisions based on his brother’s happiness because he is too narrow-minded to understand a different way of life. Ivan’s inability to understand Nicholai leads Ivan to give Nicholai money in an effort to try to change his lifestyle; he seems to want to control what does not make sense to him. At the same time, he has an upright sense of justice and is saddened by the way Nicholai treats the elderly widow he marries for her money.
Because of his...
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