Yegorushka Knyazev (yeh-GOH-rew-shkah KNYA-zehv), called Georgie, a boy on the way to his first boarding school. Georgie has been reared by his widowed mother and thus has been, to a degree, sheltered from the world. His unworldliness has been further nurtured by the provincial town in which he has grown up. His journey across the seemingly endless Russian steppe greatly expands his knowledge of both the world and human nature, although he is often frightened or repulsed by his experiences. The boy has a good heart. He sympathizes with the carters, whose difficult lives cause him vicarious pain. On the whole, however, Yegorushka is understandably bored by the lengthy trip and made lonely by the separation from his mother.
Ivan Kuzmichov (kew-ZMIH-chov), Yegorushka’s uncle, a provincial merchant. Continually preoccupied with business, reserved, and having the air of a civil servant, Kuzmichov is ambivalent about his nephew. Although he clearly has affection for the boy, the practical businessman has little time for Yegorushka’s sensitivity. His chief concern is to settle on a good price for his wool. His secondary errand, escorting the boy to school, is bothersome to him. He grudgingly admits, however, that the boy’s education will reflect well on his family.
Father Christopher Siriysky
Father Christopher Siriysky (sih-RIH-skee), a Russian Orthodox priest. Father Christopher, a kindly, gentle man, is Yegorushka’s parish priest. His benign, optimistic worldview contrasts...
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