Vanka Characters

Vanka Character List

Ivan Zhukov - Vanka

Vanka is a nine-year-old boy who was apprenticed to the family of Alyahim the shoemaker. Previously, while his mother was alive, Vanka lived with her and his grandfather in a unknown village.  Upon his mother's death he was transferred to Moscow, to new masters, who were mistreating him. On one Christmas Eve Vanka decided he was unable to take any more of the disastrous conditions and sat down to write a letter to his grandfather asking him to come for him and take him back to the village. As he was writing the letter, Vanka imagined what was his grandfather doing at the moment. After the letter was finished , Vanka put down the name of his grandfather without any address and thrown it into the nearest post-box. At night he happily dreamed of his grandfather reading the letter by a hot stove.


Alyahim, was a shoemaker, a new master of Vanka's. Together with his wife, they oppressed the little boy by hunger and physical punishments.

Konstantin Makarich

Konstantin Makarich was Vanka's grandfather, who lived in an uknown village and worked as nightwatchmen for the family of Zhivarev. He is described as lively little old man, with laughing face and drunken eyes. Is to him that Vanka tried to send his letter. 

Olga Igatyevna

Olga is a member of the Zhivarev family, who was educating Vanka while he was living with his mother and grandfather in the village. Vanka mentions her in the letter to his grandfather, when he asks him to save him a gilt walnut from the family's Christmas tree.


Pelageya was Vanka's mother and a servant in the house of family of Zhivarevs. Unfortunately she died and that was the end of the good days for Vanka.

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