The Prestakov estate. Prostakov curses the serf Trishka, since he incorrectly sewed the caftan to her son Mitrofan. The serf explains that he warned beforehand that he had not studied sewing. Mr. Prostakov, who for a long time entered into obedience to his wife, joins his wife and says that the caftan is ugly. In the same way brother Prostakovay – Skotinin speaks.
In the estate there lives a girl Sophia. She had lost her father a long time ago and six months before her mother died. The prostitutes have sheltered the girl, though not in the way they please, but because Sofia has a pretty good legacy. Of his relatives, Sophia’s uncle remained, but from him there has been no news for a long time and everyone suspects that he is dead.
Mr. Skotinin wants to marry Sophia, since there are a considerable number of pigs in her villages. Sofia is in ignorance of this…
Sofia receives a letter from her uncle, but since she is uneducated, she can not read it. Ms. Prostakova says that her uncle writes a letter of a loving nature, but the content of this letter is of a completely different nature. In this letter it is written, then the legacy of Sophia will increase, since the uncle gives all her fortune to her. Prostakova decides to marry Sophia’s son.
Near the village of Prostakov the path of soldiers passes. Milon – the officer greets his acquaintance Pravdin and while he is in the village, sees his beloved Sofia, who was taken from his native village and taken away in an unknown direction.
The commotion begins. Sophia tells Miron that she wants to marry the son of the mistress. Skotinin says that he was the first to woo Sophia, but learns that Prostakov changed her mind. Mitrofan is taught to study with his teachers (Sidorych, Panfutich), but he refuses to study. The mother promises his son a speedy wedding if he takes up his mind.
Mr. Starodum visits. He talks with Pravdin, remembers his father, and is filled with memories of how good those days were. Uncle has a desire to take Sophia with her and thus save her from the family in which she now arrives, since he was injured and released from service and now has the opportunity to engage in a niece.
Finding Sophia, he promises that soon they will leave this estate. Ms. Prostakova sees Starodum, whom she has never met before and tries to please him in every way, in view of the fact that she very much wants to marry her son to a rich girl.
Uncle says that tomorrow she and Sophia will go to Moscow and there is a fine decent man...waiting for her, which makes her nurse very sad, but as soon as she notes that she is upset, she explains that the choice is only her right and he will not interfere if she is already another groom. Everyone in the estate learns about this and the turmoil is gaining momentum again. Prostakova shows Starodum what a beautiful son she has, and what a good teacher Adam Adamitch has.
But his son has been taught for a very long time, but he did not give any new skills for several years, since Vralman hinders his studies. The lady still persuades the little son to learn, but as soon as Tsyfirkin gives him tasks, she intervenes and explains that Mitrofan does not need arithmetic. The teacher finishes the lesson.
Mitrophan begins the next lesson. Kuteykin reads the lines and Mitrofan mindlessly repeats after him. Vrmanman observing the training Explains Prostakova, that without the diploma with arithmetic it is possible to live well and release the “young talent” to play. Teachers are very upset and want to get even with Vralman. But as soon as they embark on open actions, Vralman escapes.
Starodumus finds Sofia reading a book about education and starts a conversation with her. Starodum receives a letter from Uncle Milo, in which he offers to marry their pupils, but starting a conversation about this with Sofia, embarrasses her. Pravdin leads Milo to Uncle Sophia and he learns that Sophia’s mother loved him very much, almost like her own son. Starodum understands that Milon can become a wonderful spouse for his niece. At the same time, Milo mentions to Starodum that the feelings they have with Sophia are mutual, and the uncle gladly decides on the consent to their marriage.
Nobody suspects that the matchmaking has already passed and that’s why everyone is trying to please the arrived uncle. Skotinin tells how his family is born. Prostakov shows his “scholar” son. But soon he refuses to everyone, explaining that the decision has already been made and not in their direction and reports that they will leave Sofia with their estate in the early morning. Pravdinu is handed a package that in any case he will receive in all possessions, everything that belongs to Prostakov, if something will threaten people.
Sophia is dragged to the carriage to marry Mitrophane. Milo helps her to free herself. Pavdin, seeing this picture, promises that Mitrofan’s mother will answer for her actions in court. Prostakova repents. Mr. Pravdin takes care of the estate.
Skotinin is leaving. Pravdin dissolves Mitrofan’s teachers. Starodum understands that Vralman is his former driver, and again takes him to this post. Mitrofan decides to give up his army, and his mother remains with nothing.