Lieutenant Thomas Glahn
Lieutenant Thomas Glahn, the principal narrator. Thirty years old at the time he recounts events that occurred two years earlier, in 1855, he takes up solitary residence in a hut in rural northern Norway, on the outskirts of the coastal town of Sirilund. Awkward in society yet extraordinarily attractive to women and men, he shoots himself in the leg in frustration over his relationship to Edvarda. He is disingenuous in claiming that he writes his account merely to pass the time and that he is indifferent toward Edvarda. After the death of Eva, he moves to India, where he dies of a gunshot wound.
Edvarda Mack, the tall, flirtatious, and headstrong only child of the town’s wealthiest man. She is fifteen or sixteen years old at the time that Glahn, who is struck by the curve of her eyebrows and her long, delicate fingers, moves to Nordland. Her ambivalence over the handsome stranger, Glahn, exacerbates Glahn’s anxieties.
Herr Mack, a successful and imperious trader. A widower who conducts clandestine trysts with Eva, he is envious of Glahn’s success in luring her away from him and resentful of his daughter Edvarda’s attentions to the outsider.
The doctor, an urbane physician. He is one of Glahn’s rivals for the affections of Edvarda. He discovers and treats Glahn’s self-inflicted leg wound....
(The entire section is 438 words.)