LIST OF CHARACTERS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: Central character of novel; a Stakhanovite who has been in labor camps for the past eight years. Shukhov was imprisoned as a traitor during World War II; in reality, Shukhov had been a prisoner of war in a German camp and was able to return to his country where he was sentenced for high treason. official believed he had surrendered to the Germans and had returned to spy on his country. Neither Shukhov nor the investigator could say what Shukhov’s “mission” was, but Shukhov was placed at the work camp at Ust-Izhma as punishment for his “crime.”
Kuziomin: “Old timer” at Ust-Izhma. Shukhov’s first squad leader who instills survivalist ideas in Shukhov’s lifestyle. For instance, Kuziomin hates squealers, for they don’t survive the camps. “One and a half” Ivan: Guard at Shukhov’s current camp. His outside appearance is seedy, but Shukhov considers him one of the “safer” guards.
Aloysha the Baptist: One of the most dependable members of Shukhov’s squad, the 104th. Survives through his religious faith; he has a New Testament which he hides in the wall. Shukhov calls him “heavenly” and says that he “shed the hardships of camp life like water off a duck’s back.”
Buinovsky: Ex-naval captain who is a newcomer at the camp. Has great difficulty assimilating into camp existence, because he is used to having power and giving orders.
The Tartar: Guard at the camp who does everything by the book. Has a “choking” voice and is not bothered by the cold. Looks for people to pick on.
Pantleyev: The squealer, a creature truly despised by all prisoners.
The Estonians: Two men, as close as brothers, who rely extensively on each other for survival. They “hung on to each other so closely that you’d think one would suffocate unless he breathed the same air as the other.”
Senka Klevshin: A “quiet, luckless fellow,” one of Shukhov’s squad members who is deaf. The other members of the squad protect him somewhat by accommodating for his weaknesses.
Fetiukov: Member of Shukhov’s squad who survives with little pride. Shukhov calls him a “jackal” and “a pat master at cadging.” Although generally despised by Shukhov, Fetiukov manages to find his own means of survival.
Vdovushkin: Medical supervisor of the camp and a writer.
Volkovoi: Lieutenant of camp. A “wolf” who carries a whip and stripsearches the prisoners.
Andrei Tiurin: Well-respected leader of the 104th squad. Hand-picked Shukhov to be in his squad when he arrived at the work camp. Extremely fair.
Pavlo: Unofficial second in command of the 104th. Cares about the survival of all members of the squad, and especially believes in helping the weaker members while they are learning the “rules” of surviving.
Gopchik: Fresh-faced Ukrainian boy in camp, as “pink as a suckling pig.” Shukhov admires the speed with which he adapts to the work camp life and “adopts” the boy to fill the void left by his own son who died young.
Kilgas: Works in the 104th with Shukhov as a mason. Although he has only been in the camp two years, he is considered an “old timer” by Shukhov because he has learned the rules of survival quickly. Cheerful because he received two parcels per month.
Tsezar: Rich prisoner who is treated as a guest. he is the only prisoner who lives in warmth and can survive on the parcels he receives in the mail. He is not required to work, and spends his days conversing about the luxuries of the outside world, such as the artistic merit of Sergei Eisentein’s Ivan the Terrible.
Der: Building foreman who looks for ways to punish the squads.
The Moldavian: A prisoner who is rumored to be a spy, missing from the lineup because he had gotten in a crawl space to do some plastering, had gotten warm, and had fallen asleep.
“The Limper”: Mess orderly who is disabled, but a “hefty S.O.B.” who is armed with a birch club with which he hits anyone who comes up the steps without his permission. Shukhov says, “he hit the down-and-outs.”
Mess Chief: One of the few prisoners who wears no numbers.
The Lett: a prisoner who sells tobacco, one of the few pleasures a prisoner still has.