Under Western Eyes

Minor characters

  • The narrator: A passive, obscure teacher of languages. Conrad often uses that device to elaborate his views on Russia. He is in love with and wishes to advise Natalia but because he is old and a Westerner, he feels the gap between them is too big for Natalia to listen to him.
  • Mrs Haldin: The world-weary old mother of Victor and Natalia, she becomes suspicious when she does not receive news of Victor for some time after Mr. de P—'s assassination. After she learns of his execution, she falls ill. When she learns of Razumov, she wants to meet him. In the end of the novel, she dies. She is described as having had a fine, lucid intellect in her youth.
  • Prince K.: A Russian aristocrat and ex-Guardsman who acts as Razumov's sponsor, it is also implied he is Razumov's father. Before P’s assassination Razumov had met him only once, when he was summoned to the office of an obscure attorney, and Prince K. encouraged him to do well in his studies and shook his hand. He is married to an aristocratic lady, who has a temper and is rumoured to beat him. Razumov turns to Prince K. for help after he finds Haldin in his room, having no other person to rely on. Prince K is angry at first but afterwards takes Razumov to General T— and clarifies that Razumov is not involved in revolutionary activity.
  • Privy Councillor Gregory Gregorievitch/Matvievitch Mikulin: The subtle Head of Department at the Secretariat General, he is the right hand of General T—. He subjects Razumov to several interviews, successfully trying to recruit him to act as an informer for the Czarist authorities against the revolutionaries. He does this partly for his own reasons, as he views Razumov as a tool that he can use after he receives a promotion to general supervisor over European operations. A hedonistic and greatly influential official. He meets his end a few years after the events of the novel as the consequence of a state trial.
  • General T—: Modelled after Fyodor Trepov, General T— is a high official in the Secretariat General of the Ministry of Interior of the police secretariat, to whom Razumov betrays Haldin's escape plan. General T— is initially suspicious of Razumov, but his mind is set at ease by Prince K., who vouches for Razumov's character. He believes that the structure of society is based on fidelity to institutions, and he has a deep hatred of revolutionaries that he describes as natural.
  • Mr de P—: The brutal and repressive Minister of State in the Czarist government. Fanatical and single-minded, he imprisoned, exiled or condemned to execution revolutionaries of every age and gender. He does not believe in liberty and justifies this using religion. He is assassinated by Haldin in a scene based on the real-life assassination of Vyacheslav von Plehve.
  • Baroness Eleanora Maximovna de S—: The pretentious window a Russian diplomat, she left Russia some years before the events of the novel because she was suspected of having had foreknowledge of the assassination of Alexander II of Russia. She is an ardent believer in Ivanovich and met him when he was serving in the Guards as a young man, and she supports him financially in Geneva. Razumov describes her as looking like a "galvanised corpse". She is described as greedy, avaricious and unscrupulous by the narrator.
  • Nikita Necator: A brutal revolutionary assassin, Necator is responsible for numerous murders and has a fearsome reputation. Fat to the point of obesity, he is greatly excited by violence. He cripples Razumov near the end of the novel by smashing his eardrums. In the end, Councillor Mikulin informs Ivanovitch in a chance meeting in Russia that Necator had been a double agent all along, providing information to the Russian authorities. Razumov was apparently aware of this as he taunted Necator before he was attacked.

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