6 Answers

  1. In Bulgakov's novel, everyone sees what they can see due to the breadth or limitations of their cultural baggage. But much more interesting is what Bulgakov himself wanted to convey. Being the son of a teacher at the theological Academy, Mikhail Afanasyevich himself was very familiar with theology, so he chose the main topic of his novel the main question that always worried the intelligentsia: is there a God?

    There are many different answers to this question. Atheists say that Jesus did not exist at all. The liberal intelligentsia, represented by Tolstoy and his followers, condescendingly admitted that, they say, there was such a wandering teacher. He taught good, eternal things, but was betrayed and crucified. And then his disciples and followers created a cult out of his death. And so on.

    Bulgakov, in modern terms, wrote a remake of Goethe's Faust, but in the realities of Bulgakov's modern Moscow. The main question of Faust in the theological context is: can a person who has deliberately sold his soul to the devil hope for forgiveness? What will happen if God leaves man and humanity?

    And in his work Bulgakov draws just such a picture. The whole phantasmagoria takes place in the context of Woland's visit to Moscow. The author shows the reader that no matter how outwardly attractive Woland is, no matter what aphorisms he juggles, no matter what goals he voices, his actions ultimately do not bring happiness and joy to anyone. By this Bulgakov shows his attitude to Woland.

    This also implies the interpretation of the Yershalaim chapters, which are blasphemous for Christian perception. But in Bulgakov's work, these are the chapters of the book of the Master who sold his Soul to the devil. Thus, his entire book is Woland's view of the gospel events.

    So Bulgakov shows whose mill Tolstoy and other intellectuals pour water on, claiming that there was no sacrifice, Jesus was not a God-man, but was just a wandering teacher. Bulgakov seems to say, pay attention – this is the version of Woland, and the devil is the father of lies. Draw your own conclusions )

    Thus, “The Master and Margarita” is essentially an apology for Christianity, showing in Moscow chapters what can happen if God suddenly leaves people. But at the same time Bulgakov shows that the devil and his retinue are forced to leave Moscow before Easter, i.e. before Christ is resurrected. I think this is quite enough to understand which side the Author takes in this confrontation.

    In addition, in” MiM ” Bulgakov touches on many other problems: the attitude of the author and his work, what distinguishes true love from ersatz, questions of human nature and human vices, and many others. But the central issue is the existence of God, which is the most difficult and most discussed issue among the intelligentsia. Because the presentation of this very main question requires the presence of the devil-Woland in the plot, the chosen time of action (Woland is forced to leave Moscow before Easter) and such a complex structure of the novel interspersed with Yershalaim chapters.

  2. The novel “The Master and Margarita” is secular, not as a religious work. It is not directed against the Church, and Bulgakov did not address questions of faith in it at all. He was interested in the history of Pilate: the age-old question of the correlation and interrelation of Good and Evil. Satan in the novel is just a literary character, an artistic tool. At the same time, the novel is fantastic, which does not oblige the author to follow the traditions and realities of the Christian faith. In the novel, Bulgakov explored not the authenticity of the evangelical tales, but the confrontation between good and evil in the modern totalitarian society. To reveal his artistic concept, he used the gospel story, which he reinterpreted based on the Christian apocrypha. But Bulgakov's novel is not a new gospel that refutes Christianity, and Yeshua and Woland are not the evangelical Jesus and the devil, but only prototypes of the Christian image of Jesus and the Christian image of Satan in the fantastic reality of the novel. Bulgakov created his own world, where Jesus is not the son of God, and the world is governed by the balance of the forces of light and darkness. But his novel is quite acceptable for Christians, like any fantastic work, if you do not perceive its events as real facts, which Bulgakov does not pretend to do.

    Instead of Woland, Bulgakov could easily have introduced a representative of an alien civilization who has the appropriate capabilities, even to the point of recreating the manuscript by scanning the master's brain. But the use of the image of Satan is more consistent with the literary tradition that Bulgakov inherited from Gogol and Hoffmann. However, Woland is not a classic “Christian” devil, but an enemy of the human race. His artistic image bears as little relation to the “real Christian prototype” as the artistic image of Ivan the Terrible does to the real tsar.

    I will add two quotes to what has been said:

    “The novel” The Master and Margarita ” is the pinnacle of Bulgakov's work. It reflects the favorite ideas and thoughts of the writer, this is the most significant work of all created by Bulgakov.

    The novel has become a source of much debate and reflection, as its narrative is directed to the future, its content is psychologically, philosophically and historically reliable, and the problems raised in it are deeply directed, eternal. Man has been struggling for centuries with these incomprehensible mysteries, in which good and evil, the beautiful and the ugly, the earthly and the sublime are mixed up. The core of the novel is the struggle between good and evil, concepts as eternal and inseparable as life itself.

    The actions of the novel, which take place with an interval of almost two thousand years, are in harmony with each other, and they are connected by the struggle against evil, creativity, all-pervading thought, and the search for truth. But Bulgakov reverses the usual ideas about good and evil, showing them in his own way, thereby forcing the reader to think, rethink the current ideas about life, about morality.

    The Grand Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate, sees a man named Yeshua, who is accused of inciting the destruction of the Yershalaim temple. The prisoner tries to justify himself, to prove his innocence: “Good man! Believe me…”; ” … the temple of the old faith will collapse and the Temple of Truth will be created…”; “… there are no evil people in the world, there are unhappy people… “These words are incomprehensible and alien to the” fierce monster “Pilate, who has his own “sluggish” philosophy: the world is divided into masters and slaves, ” the slave obeys the master.” However, Yeshua's clever, slightly impudent and naive speeches interested the procurator, awakened the rudiments of morality and spirituality in his soul. Pilate was immediately convinced of the prisoner's innocence and decided to save him. But Yeshua resolutely refused to betray his truth, thereby performing a great moral feat. His humanistic preachings of universal love, kindness and freedom of thought, denial of power cause Pilate fear, fear of losing privileges, the favor of the great Caesar.

    The procurator declares the prisoner a criminal and passes a death sentence. Pilate's weak character and cowardice are revealed. He goes against his will, against the voice of his heart, for the sake of his habitual well-being. Using the example of Pilate, Bulgakov showed the existence of contradictory moral aspirations in a person, spiritual and spiritual, the primacy of thoughts over feelings. But from the moment of Yeshua's execution, strange torments overwhelm the procurator, and his conscience torments him. He understands that Yeshua is right, that it was his fault that a good man died. Pilate's soul was destroyed by a sword forged by himself. Yeshua's visions haunt the procurator in his dreams. Day after day, he is tormented by memories of a man who was driven to death by the greed and baseness of people. Pilate's years of repentance will be long and hard. Bitter will be the cup of punishment, far from oblivion and peace! And it is difficult to say what prevails at this moment in Yershalayim-good or evil.

    The bearer of evil, the representative of darkness in the novel is Woland, Bulgakov's reinterpreted image of Satan, the devil. Woland and his retinue are not meant to do evil at all. Their main goal is to test people, test them for meanness and mercy, and discover human vices. Thus, Woland assumes the functions of good, justice, he punishes real evil, punishes only sinners, without harming the righteous, and occasionally gives freedom and peace to those who have suffered and repented.

    The result that Woland arrives at is sad: people do evil to each other; the human soul is the arena of the struggle between good and evil, unshakable moral laws and momentary animal interests; and most often pride and evil triumph, the voice of reason and heart becomes powerless and madness becomes omnipotent.

    The idea of putting the Prince of Darkness and his entourage in Moscow in the 1930s, representing forces that defy the laws of logic, was deeply innovative. Woland appears in Moscow to “test” the characters of the novel, to pay tribute to the master and Margarita, who remained faithful to each other and love, to punish grafters, extortioners, traitors. They will not be judged according to the laws of good, they will face the face of hell.

    According to Bulgakov, in the current situation, evil should be fought by the forces of evil in order to restore justice. This is the tragic grotesqueness of the novel. Woland returns to the master his novel about Pontius Pilate, which the master burned in a fit of fear and cowardice. The myth of Pilate and Yeshua, recreated in the master's book, takes the reader back to the initial era of the spiritual civilization of mankind, affirming the idea that the confrontation between good and evil is eternal, it lies in the very circumstances of life, in the human soul, capable of lofty impulses and false, transitory interests of today.

    The author and his characters are not afraid of the devil. The devil, perhaps, for Bulgakov really does not exist, as there is no God-man. In his novel lives a different, deep faith in the historical man and in immutable moral laws. For Bulgakov, the moral law is contained within a person and should not depend on the religious horror of the coming retribution, the manifestation of which can easily be seen in the inglorious death of a well-read but unscrupulous atheist who headed the MASSOLIT.

    And the master, the main character of Bulgakov's book, who created a novel about Christ and Pilate, is also far from religious in the Christian sense of the word. The master in the novel couldn't win. But does the final pages of the book sound pessimistic?

    Faithful Margarita is as bright as her lover, she believes in his talent, inspires him in moments of despair. Margarita is a fateful, purposeful woman, she is completely devoted to love and for the sake of saving the master makes a deal with the devil, becomes a witch, the mistress of the ball of evil spirits, plunges into the mysterious world of black magic. She is the most positive character of the novel, whose position is supported by Bulgakov, and the reader. She loves as few people can love. Even Woland appreciated this great feeling, which no amount of money can buy. Margarita acts according to the voice of her heart, and for this she is rewarded with eternal life with the person she loves.

    They both pass away, and Woland and his entourage take their souls to a world of peace and happiness, because “the one who loves must share the fate of the one he loves.”

    Using the example of Margarita, Bulgakov showed that each person should solve moral problems for himself, make a personal choice, see for himself, not calling out to heaven, asking him to show his glory, or to hell, asking him to show the power of the forces of hell. A person cannot expect favors from life, whispering words that appeal to it, he himself must determine a lot, change his fate for the better.

    This opportunity is given to many of the novel's characters. They are allowed to see clearly, to know their essence, to penetrate into the wilds of their consciousness, to turn their fate in a favorable direction. Others are not given to comprehend the wisdom of life, the purpose of man, to make moral discoveries for themselves.”

    “For all its merciless realism and sometimes deep sadness, this book is bright and poetic; faith, love and hope expressed in it can dispel any darkness. For a person here is not humiliated, not trampled by the forces of evil, he managed to stand at the bottom of the totalitarian abyss, understood and accepted the cruel pedagogy of life. Of course, this is a book of farewell to life and people, a requiem to himself, and therefore the author did not part with it for so long. But Bulgakov's sadness is also bright and human.”

  3. The point of the novel is that if people refuse to be protected by God, they experience an invasion of supernatural evil from which there is no rational defense. And this evil seems attractive to them (as it should be), and therefore in the novel it is the negative characters who are made the main ones and endowed with attractive features for the reader, but behind these features there is a rather terrible reality. Woland in the novel is omnipotent, he even rewrites the gospel story with the hands of the Master (after all, the novel that the Master writes is dictated to him by Woland, and Woland quotes him). Hence the novel's “gospel chapters from Satan”, in which there is an evil fanatic Levi Matthew (one of the apostles) and a powerless, ingratiatingly sniffing, good-natured Yeshua Ha-Nozri (a parody of Christ), who asks Pilate to “let him go” (the historical Christ does not ask for mercy from Pilate).�

    Therefore, the main characters of the “Moscow chapters of the novel” are Woland and the witch Margarita, a descendant of the” black queen ” Margot (in whose glory, according to the novel, rivers of Christian blood were shed on St. Bartholomew's Night). Another main character is the Master, a man who wanted to escape from the surrounding reality and found money (to do nothing), but immediately met Margarita and began writing a novel (which drove him crazy and brought him to the ward for the mentally ill). The master is the conductor of evil in the world of people, it is he who essentially “materializes” Woland in Moscow through rewriting the Gospel in his novel and pays for it to everyone (including his own life). Woland takes the Master and Margarita as a reward to hell (“to the black pit”) and promises them “peace” there, but not “light”. Peace without light is eternal darkness, ” outer darkness.” Therefore, the Master is the alter ego of the author, this is a warning to the reader, if the reader understands the novel “The Master and Margarita” incorrectly, then he will be in eternity next to the main characters of the novel, and the author (Bulgakov) will be to blame for this (as the Master was to blame for the fact that Woland still appeared and “began to judge”). Another main character is the narrator Ivan Ponyrev, crippled by Woland. Woland confronts the rationalist and atheist Ivanushka with the reality of evil and Ivan goes mad. But, as described later in the novel, Ivan Ponyrev chose “forget everything”. That is, he just went back to rationalism and atheism and firmly believes that Woland was a hallucination of fraudulent hypnotists. To some extent, Ivan Ponyrev is the alter ego of Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate in the Jerusalem chapters chose to turn a blind eye to the truth and send Yeshua to his death, Ivan Ponyrev chose to forget his madness and forget those who caused it and return to that existence. Berlioz, as a learned atheist, met Woland and died altogether. For Woland, he turned out to be useless, and Woland did not” convert him to his faith.”

    The Jerusalem chapters of the novel are centered around the fate of Pontius Pilate-precisely because his fate was least of all rewritten by Woland. We just see a tired Roman bureaucrat with a headache, and then they bring him some preacher who confuses the people. It is Pilate who later takes revenge on Judas in the novel (the historical Judas hanged himself). It is clear why Pilate is attractive to Woland – he is essentially an executioner. And the executioner is always attractive to evil. In general, the most beautifully written, lovingly written characters of the Jerusalem chapters are Judas and Pilate (traitor and executioner). Yeshua is described as an ordinary person who is afraid of death and who will not be resurrected in the novel, but will die. There are no disciples of Yeshua at all, only Levi Matvey, who is described as a vicious criminal (this is Woland's revenge on one of the evangelists, as well as a typical revisionist trick – to throw mud at the event, and then denigrate the reliable narrator).

    So it is not surprising that the novel is often misunderstood by experienced philologists. Because it's a theological novel. And this is a black novel – that is, it shows the end of those people who went down the path of evil and shows how attractive real evil can be, how easily it seduces people's minds. In fact, Woland works as a magician in Moscow, fulfilling wishes ,and who wouldn't want their wishes to be fulfilled? Only now everyone who has fulfilled them there, then run around Moscow without clothes, and all their money has turned either into dirt, or fake, or evil insects. Next, Woland punishes grafters, thieves, and theater swindlers, and who wouldn't want that? Only here he does not punish them, but pretends. In fact, he just needs to “clear the ground” for seducing minds and souls, they are a hindrance to him and he despises them, because they cannot do “evil for the pleasure of evil”, but are engaged in some “tiny fight”. And finally, Woland connects your loved ones. Who wouldn't want “eternal love”? Only here they will love each other in hell, where there is no love, and And. Ponyrev after the death of the Master and Margarita sees how the witch leads an overgrown, ragged man in hospital pajamas, who has forgotten even his name. That is, everything that Woland promises, in fact, turns out to be a lie, zilch. But it is very difficult for a non-religious person to see this. As you can see behind the beautiful facade – an animal grin. A paradox arises: Margarita herself says that she “misses”, the author says that she “got a lover out of boredom”, the author calls her a “witch”, she calls herself “evil”, but generations of readers are firmly convinced that “a novel about love”, “love is sacred”. The master shows all the signs of insanity, he is afraid of Woland and is afraid of Margarita, but this is a positive hero. Finally, some even consider Ivan Ponyrev, who spent his entire life trying to forget about Woland and the supernatural in general, to be a positive hero. And there are no positive characters in the novel. This is the genre. It is written not to “glorify”, but to expose. Well, and at the same time make fun of the atheistic intellectual environment. Paradoxically, Woland indirectly helped some minor characters. Barefoot, a bribe taker from the housing office returned to Vera, Varenukha no longer” lies ” on the phone, and so on. Having touched evil, they recoiled from their own evil deeds, even just a little.

    P.S. Nevertheless, M. A. Bulgakov was not in vain afraid that the novel would be “misunderstood”. It was understood “wrong”. It was understood as a challenge to the “bloody scoop” of dissident fighters against the regime, and Woland appeared in the image of Stalin, then in the image of the supreme judge over Stalin, dozens of critics admired “how Christ is revealed in the image of Yeshua in a new way” and so on. and so on. Nobody understood the writer's pain. The whole novel can be expressed in the phrase: “Atheism and unbelief remove a person's defense against dark supernatural forces and he becomes their weak-willed toy.”

  4. I didn't finish reading the novel three times and didn't understand the point at all . Going to read it

    The fourth time ,I know where the book is, but now, after reading the comments

    Alexander S and Sergey Cibulnik, decided not to read any more. I'm an atheist, eh

    Mikhail Bulgakov is a religious deep thinker and we have a different vision

    the surrounding world. The contradiction of good and evil is understandable even without God.

    by Satan. I. Ilf and E. Petrov are closer to me, and it seems that the essence of the novel –

    ,how much is opium for the people ?” This explains why he is being praised.

    (without reading) all elitists and their ilk

  5. In this case, it is important that the person who does not understand Bulgakov understands.

    Otherwise , how long ago did he finish kindergarten?

    Here the Mouse helped the Grandfather and the Woman to crack the Golden Egg, and instead of being happy, they burst into tears. Why?

    Cinderella's shoe didn'T turn to junk at midnight, like her dress and carriage – why?

    Where did the king's daughter Eliza learn to weave and spin nettle shirts?

  6. In the novel, evil in its Christian sense collides with the Evil of Chekism, the evil of the red-brown regime. And it seems almost good-in this comparison. And certainly-the light of knowledge, compared to the darkness of Marxist obscurantism. �Back, in comparison. Ну Well, yes, the Devil is a liar, but where is he to the Chekist Promises?..

    This is in the foreground.

    In the background, Michal Afanasič shows the times (of Pilate) when the” light ” of Jesus was weak. �And was relevant. сравнивает And compares them to his own, red-brown eyelid. �When the servants of God and their master… they also lose a lot compared to Woland. Yes, they are terribly disconnected from life. In the end, how could the Soviet censorship consider the novel an apologetic for Christianity?

    Further. �All these bored “new ladies” and even writers with critics are the background and material for everyday writing of the new time. No matter how dear the same writers are to the author himself, no matter how much he sympathizes with them (class:)).

Leave a Reply