Master and Margarita Book Report by Kelsey Haeger

Master and Margarita Book Report by Kelsey Haeger - Master...

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Master and Margarita Book Report by Kelsey Haeger When I first heard we would be reading a Russian novel, I must admit, I was not thrilled by the idea. As much as I love to read I have grown up in an ethnocentric culture where everything in and of the United States is looked at as “the best”, so ashamedly, I immediately thought poorly of Russian literature. Thankfully, Master and Margarita changed my egotistical views. It came as quite a surprise to me that in Master and Margarita native Russians had the same ethnocentric view of Russia as we have today in America. This book really opened my eyes to Russian culture at a time when they were the world super power exceling in not only science and literature but in even more novel activities such as the Olympics. From the very first page, Bulgakov had my attention and interest. I was surprised to hear Berlioz and Bezdomny speaking so candidly about Jesus never having existed. 1 In the 1930s, religion was still a powerful force. Hitler was about to be slaughtering people for their religious background! So to hear two characters of a book set in between the first and second world wars openly admitting their atheistic viewpoints and not being ostracized by passerbys helped me to realize the cultural and historical uniqueness of Soviet Russia. Even today, Russia is one of the most scientifically based societies and this book accurately depicts the roots of those non- religious tendencies. The next surprise in Master and Margarita came with the introduction of Woland. With talk of space exploration just beginning and “the race to the moon” right around the corner, fanciful and science-fiction type ideas should not have shocked me. However, set and written in such a serious time for the world, I was surprised to read a book with so much humor and so 1 Mikhail Bulgakov, Master and Margarita (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), pg. 5.
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many fantastical characters. The thought of Woland being a demon or even the devil himself seemed very extreme for the time period. Bulgakov shocked me at every turn and it is no wonder his book was not published under Stalin’s rule. Bulgavok took risks in a time period when risk
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