Pelagueya Vlasova (peh-luh-GEH-yuh VLAH-so-vuh), a revolutionary heroine. Fearing that her son, Pavel Vlasov, will be forced into the brutal, dehumanized life of the factory, she begins to notice with joy that, unlike the other workers, he is given to reading. When she meets Pavel’s close friends, dedicated socialists, her love for him and for them leads her into the revolutionary movement, to which she becomes passionately devoted. Her life takes on new meaning as she gives herself to the cause for which Pavel and his friends are willing to sacrifice so much. Finally, she is handing out leaflets even as she is being arrested and beaten by the police.
Pavel Vlasov (PAH-vehl VLAH-sof), Pelagueya Vlasova’s son. With an imagination that sets him apart from the average soulless and brutal factory worker in his small town, Pavel is given to reading. He becomes a member of a socialist group that meets to discuss ideas they have gleaned from subversive literature. Full of hope and vitality, Pavel and his friends, with the help of his mother, set out to put their ideas into practice. His sacrificial devotion to the socialist cause finally leads to his exile in Siberia.
Nikolay Ivanovich (nih-koh-LI ih-VAH-no-vihch), and
Sofya (SOH-fyuh), revolutionary friends who share Pavel Vlasov’s devotion to the socialist cause and his sacrificial life in behalf of worker and peasant.