Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Makar Alexievitch Dievushkin

Makar Alexievitch Dievushkin (mah-KAHR ah-lehk-SAY-eh-vihch deh-VEWSH-kihn), a government clerk or copyist whose extravagant love for a friendless orphan leaves him penniless and broken in health. A supremely noble and at the same time ridiculous aging lover, Makar, laughingly called Lovelace in his office, carries on for some months an elaborate correspondence with the woman next door. Although they see each other less than once a week, they write almost daily of their mutual respect, their penurious existence, and their calamities and minor triumphs. Makar has attached his wages to give her flowers and bonbons, driven himself mad with worry over her health, and generally devoted himself to her comfort and ease of mind. He also concerns himself with a dying clerk wronged in a scandal, a writer of penny dreadfuls, and a drunken friend in his office. His style of writing is florid; his thoughts are mostly clichés; and his feelings, though obvious, are touching. Like many of the author’s great creations, the clerk welcomes suffering and forces it upon himself so that he may ask forgiveness for imagined sins, but his “dedicated” living turns out to be mostly effusions of a distraught mind and overstrained susceptibilities, dramatized for their effect rather than their feelings. Even so, within the humor there is deep pathos.

Barbara Alexievna Dobroselova

Barbara Alexievna Dobroselova (vahr-VAH-ruh ah-lehk-

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