Short Summary In Leo Tolstoy's Master And Man

825 Words4 Pages
“Master and Man” (1895) is a short story by Russian author Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy is widely ranked among the greatest writers of all time with such classics as War and Peace (1869), Anna Karenina (1877), and the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886). His output also includes plays and essays. In “Master and Man,” Vasili Andreevich Brekhunov, a landowner, departs from the village of Kresty for a short journey with Nikita, one of his peasants. It is a cold winter day, the day after the feast of Saint Nicholas, and their destination is the home of the owner of a forest. Vasili shows little patience as he is in a hurry to get to the town to conduct his business. This business is trying to purchase that forest to procure wood at a low price before any other interested parties are able to get there before him. Nikita is kind and pleasant. Although he is valued by his master, he is also exploited by him. He is underpaid for his services and is paid not in cash, but in goods from his master’s shop. A blizzard arises which could potentially slow or stop the travelers, but Vasili insists they continue on their way. As they do so, they lose their way on the road, traveling in circles. They need to set up camp. As the story progresses, they get lost again and look for…show more content…
Living one’s life for the benefit of others is where true happiness is achieved. Like much of Tolstoy’s work following Three Deaths in 1859, the passage from life into death is critical to the plot of “Master and Man.” Vasili becomes the savior of the man he had simply been using. There is a religious symbolism to the character’s actions, although it might not necessarily be a singular connection. Christian imagery is possible, as is Buddhist imagery, with the line, “Nikita’s alive, which means I’m alive, too.” The characters are trapped between life and death, in a limbo of sorts, a long way from the main road in a
Open Document