Factory. The unnamed town is dominated by the tall black smokestacks of the factory, in which grime-faced workers have their life force sucked out of them through working in horrid conditions for sub-subsistence wages. Disguised as a food vendor, Pelagueya goes to the factory’s yard secretly to distribute literature to sympathetic workers in order to foment labor strikes. Led by Pavel, workers in the factory refuse to work and instead join a parade that assembles in the churchyard to celebrate May Day. Their parade is stopped by a gray wall of soldiers with fixed bayonets who charge the marchers and arrest Pavel and nineteen other demonstrators.
Ivanovich’s house. Secluded home of Nikolay Ivanovich, a revolutionary friend of Pavel, to which Pelagueya goes to stay after Pavel is arrested. Strategy meetings continue there as Pelagueya helps tidy the bachelor’s simple one-story shack, which is typical of those of simple workmen. Nikolay is in revolt against the type of life led by his father, a factory manager in Vyataka. Before Pavel’s trial, Nikolay’s house is ransacked by police investigators.
Woods. Forested area outside the town that contain what little beauty can be found in the workers’ lives, such as sunrises and birdsongs. Whatever personal or deeply reflective thinking in which the major characters engage takes place in the woods.
Nikolskoye (nih-kohl-SKOY-ah). Small town to which Pelagueya goes secretly to distribute literature to workers. There she sees Pavel’s friend Rybin being beaten by the chief of police for distributing literature. Rybin had earlier gone to Yegildeyevo (one of the few specific towns mentioned in the novel) to take revolutionary literature to the peasants.
Courthouse. Government building in which Pavel and his associates are tried before judges suffering from boredom and ill health. Pavel and Andrey denounce private property and czarism, and Pavel predicts that socialism will rebuild the land that czarist greed has destroyed. Pavel’s conviction is a foregone conclusion, and he is exiled to Siberia. Afterward, his words are printed in leaflets that his mother carries to a train station, where police intercept her and beat her.