Lilly Czepanek (TSHAY-pah-nehk), an attractive and capable young woman. Deserted at the age of fourteen by her music-master father, she is left entirely alone after the subsequent insanity of her mother. She makes an unhappy marriage, takes a lover, and is divorced by her husband. Gradually, she sinks deeper into vice. Falling truly in love, she lies frantically about her past in her desire to keep the young man’s friendship. The projected marriage is broken off by his uncle, and Lilly, in despair, unsuccessfully attempts suicide. She does, however, throw into the river a musical composition by her father, “The Song of Songs,” which she has kept for years as a symbol of the fine and good in her life. At last, she agrees to marry a man she does not love but with whom she has lived in the past.
Fritz Redlich (REHD-lihkh), a high-minded young student whom Lilly admires before her first marriage. Misunderstanding her overtures of friendship, he spurns her. Years after her divorce, she finds him destitute, looks after him, and secures a job for him. She wants to devote her life to his regeneration, but he still misunderstands her and again spurns her friendship.
Walter von Prell
Walter von Prell, a young lieutenant interested in Lilly. After her marriage, he becomes her lover....
(The entire section is 526 words.)