Tuesday, September 11

How Much Land Does a Man Need?

In my World Literature assignments for the past week, one of the stories I was required to read was "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" by Leo Tolstoy.
I pulled out my enormous blue zippered binder and opened it. Flipping past "The Ransom of Red Chief" with a chuckle as I remembered the humorous story, I turned to the day's assignment. When I saw the title - and the author - I groaned and immediately flipped to the end to see how many pages...too many.
I was admittedly a little squiffy, as I knew that Tolstoy is not known for writing "candy" books; however, I had to read it, so I dove right in.
The story started out fairly boring, undoubtedly due at least partially to my cynical attitude regarding this particular piece of literature.
"Just as I expected. Booooooring."
I sighed and turned the page. But much to my surprise, the story became suddenly (Gasp!) interesting. As much as I was trying not to like it...I was starting to anyway.
Yes, it was longer than most of the short stories I had read previously, but I didn't mind. In fact, I wanted it to be longer. I was so caught up in the misadventures of Pahom the greedy landowner that I never wanted them to stop. Of course, I knew they would, and Pahom would probably end up dead as well...after all, when the devil decides he's going to get you, it can be hard to resist him. (At least when you're a fictional character who clearly can't see that what you're doing is wrong in every way imaginable.)
And who would have thought that a story about some dude trying to get more and more land could actually become suspenseful? As the story started to end though, I actually realized that my heart rate was up, and I was reading faster and faster...
And the story ends with a dead guy.
Throughout the whole story, the protagonist is trying to get more and more land, and no matter how much he has, he's never happy.
In the end, all he needed was six feet.
I loved it.


  1. Haha! I like your thoughts on this short story. :)

  2. Sarah Me =)15/9/12 8:31 PM

    Excellent summary! Mrs. Grubb would be proud!! ;)

  3. I loved this story! (In sort of a macabre, weird way) ;-) Loved the way you re-told and paced it. Gold star!