Nikolai Petrovitch Kirsanov A small landowner in a rural part of Russia who has attempted to keep up with modern ideas.
Arkady Nikolayevitch Kirsanov His son, who has been studying in St. Petersburg and who has come under the influence of a new philosophy called nihilism.
Pavel Petrovitch Kirsanov Nikolai's brother, who believes strongly in preserving the aristocratic mode of life.
Fenichka Nikolai's housekeeper, the mother of his young son, and eventually his wife. She is almost always referred to by her nickname, Fenichka. Her real name is Fedosya Nikolayevna Savishna.
Mitya Nikolai and Fenichka's young son.
Yevgeny Vassilievitch Bazarov A friend of Arkady's who professes a philosophy of nihilism.
Viktor Sitnikov An acquaintance of Bazarov's who tries to attach himself to popular causes.
Avdotya Nikitishna Kukshina A friend of Sitnikov's who professes to be a liberated woman.
Anna Sergeyevna Odintsova A wealthy widow who is reputed to be quite advanced and liberal.
Katerine Sergeyevna Lokteva (Katya) Madame Odintsova's sister, who attracts the attention of Arkady, and is eventually married to him.
Vassily Ivanovitch Bazarov Bazarov's devoted father, who is a retired army doctor and who has tried to keep up with the latest advancements in medicine.
Arina Vlassevna Bazarov Bazarov's mother; the traditional conglomeration of sentiment, superstition, and doting love for her offspring.
Princess Abdotya Stepanovna Madame Odintsova's old and aristocratic aunt.
Matvei Ilyich Kolyazin The "uncle" whom Arkady visits in a neighboring province.
Porfiry Platonovitch Madame Odintsova's neighbor who often comes for conversation and cards.
Father Aleksei The priest in Bazarov's home town.
Prokofitch A servant at Marino who adheres to the old principles of the Russian aristocracy.
Piotr Another servant at Marino; emancipated and "modern."
Dunyasha A servant at Marino who is fond of Bazarov.
Timofeich and Anfisushka Two of Vassily Ivanovitch Bazarov's servants.