Master And Margarita In Mikhail Book Review

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Literature Type: Book Review Paper: #67304230 Related Topics: Literary, Trial Brief, Literary Theme, Gospel Of John
Excerpt from Book Review :

Critic Donald B. Pruitt uses "cold hard fact" from the narrative involving Christ's trial to set those chapters aside from the chapters that are fantasy. Pruitt sees the success that Bulgakov has accomplished by editing St. John's version of Pilate and Christ's discussion, and in truth Bulgakov's version is read-made for creative realism.

In the Gospel According to John, Pilate says to Christ: "Do you not know that I have the power to release you and power to crucify you?" (Pruitt, 1981, p. 2). Christ answered: "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above…" (p. 2). In Bulgakov's version, Pilate says something more contemporary and likely more true to what actually took place: "[Your life] is hanging by a thread: know that." Christ answered cryptically: "You don't think, do you, hegemon, that it is you who hung it?" "If you do," Christ continued, "you are quite wrong." To which Pilate replied: "I can cut that thread." And Christ's realistic reply, given his power as the Son of God: "You are wrong there, too." And thereupon Pilate asserted that "…only he who hung the thread can cut it" (Bulgakov, 36-37).

Among the questions that the author does not provide answers for, and hence leaves a sense of uncertainty trailing his novel, is the mystery raised by Margot K. Frank in Canadian-American Slavic Studies. Why is the Master denied access to Heaven? The curious lack of a solution to this question certainly gives readers and critics further interest in the book, and as mentioned earlier in this paper, part of the power of the book is that questions about why the author chose to do what he did. These questions could go on for as long as there are books to read and arguments to make in reference to the plots in those books. Frank...


So Frank believes "…this omission appears to be the Master's primary transgressions and results in denial of heaven" (Frank, 1981, p. 3).

A second possibility for the fact that the Master winds up in a "peaceable limbo" -- listening to Schubert -- rather than in Heaven could be that the author actually was more sympathetic with Woland than with Ieshua, Frank asserts on page 3. That theory has potential merit, but from this writer's standpoint, a third possibility for leaving the Master in limbo rather than sending him to Heaven with Pilate is that Bulgakov made so many last minute corrections on his book he simply blew it, or somehow just installed his own personal touches based on where his head was at the moment of truth -- when the book had to end. Frank adds that the "lack of logically structured argument" in the book, and the "artistic untidiness" are certainly to be taken into consideration in attempting to resolve plot and character confusion. "The force of the book" is so strong, Frank comments on page 3, it outweighs the confusing outcome.


A restatement of the thesis -- that the power of brilliant narrative makes believers out of skeptics; that Bulgakov's novel within the novel brings the reader next to the author; and that Bulgakov's embrace of the crucifixion story is more believable than those versions found in the New Testament -- does not solve the mystery of why the Master fails to get to heaven. But one of the thesis ideas presented is that readers don't necessarily need to or want to have all the details wrapped up neatly in a bow at the end. Whether Bulgakov intended to leave loose ends, or whether he just figured it was time to quit, matters not. The story -- and the story within the story -- is power enough.

Works Cited

Bulgakov, Mikhail. (1967). The Master and Margarita. New York: Harper & Row.

Frank, Margot K. (1981). The Mystery of the Master's Final Destination. Canadian-American

Slavic Studies. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg. Vol. 159.

Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from Literature Resource Center.

McIntosh-Byrd, Tabitha. (2000). Overview of "The Master and Margarita." Novels for Students.

Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski and Deborah a. Stanley. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale. Retrieved From Literature Resource Center.

Pruitt, Donald B. (1981). St. John and Bulgakov: The Model of a Parody of Christ. Canadian-

American Slavic Studies 15(2-3)…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Bulgakov, Mikhail. (1967). The Master and Margarita. New York: Harper & Row.

Frank, Margot K. (1981). The Mystery of the Master's Final Destination. Canadian-American

Slavic Studies. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg. Vol. 159.

Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from Literature Resource Center.

Cite this Document:

"Master And Margarita In Mikhail" (2011, March 09) Retrieved July 3, 2022, from

"Master And Margarita In Mikhail" 09 March 2011. Web.3 July. 2022. <>

"Master And Margarita In Mikhail", 09 March 2011, Accessed.3 July. 2022,

Related Documents
Master and Margarita Born in
Words: 1561 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 72801960

Although the novel ends with an open-ended question about the fate of the two titular characters, it is clear that Margarita has the power to create her own reality. Mikhail Bulgakov uses three literary elements in the novel the Master and the Margarita: a multiple layered reality, symbolism, and magical realism. Each of these three literary devices helps the author to convey the central themes of greed, corruption, and social

Master and Margarita by Mikhail
Words: 1744 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 69720240

The end of the novel seems to signal a return to the novel's first setting, which is Moscow, but changes that setting in a fundamental manner. For successfully hosting the party with the Devil, the Devil grants Margarita her greatest wish. She asks that the Master be set free, so that she can live with him. She does this knowing that, in the current social and political climate, life with

Master and Margarita by Bulgakov Mikhail Bulgakov's
Words: 2424 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 83744170

Master and Margarita by Bulgakov Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "The Master and Margarita" is one of the brightest pieces of Soviet literature on the hand with such masterpieces as One day of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Soljenitzin and Quite follows Don by Mikhail Sholohov. 'The Master and Margarita" impresses by the unity of philosophy, religion and satire on Soviet society. "The Master and Margarita" may be also considered as one of the greatest

Effect of Postmodern Theory on the Study of the Short Story Genre
Words: 2431 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 65689748

Postmodern Lit. An Analysis of the Postmodern Short Story Robert Coover's "Going for a Beer" passes like a dream: the faint perceptions of a man who does not know if he is coming or going -- or as Coover puts it, whether he has achieved an "orgasm" or not -- in the midst of various connections and misconnections to an assortment of characters. At the end, his life is over and all