Summary “After the ball”

With the story “After the Ball”, created in 1903, the readers met only in 1911, after the death of Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy. The plot was based on events that occurred with the writer’s brother. The realism of the image of reality, the unusual ring composition helped the author draw a parallel between the past and the present. A capacious and laconic story makes us focus on one main event in the life of the main character. Through the eyes of Ivan Vasilyevich we see the cruel age of the reign of Nicholas I, crippling the soul and morality of a contemporary.

Main characters

Ivan Vasilyevich is a man who acts as a narrator. He recalls the time when he was “a cheerful, jaunty fellow and even a rich man” was a young and passionate student. The young man is trustful, honest and conscientious.

Other characters

Petr Vladislavovich is Varenka’s father, Colonel. A two-faced man: a kind, loving father at the ball and an insensitive

officer guiding the soldier’s punishment, after the ball.

Varenka is an eighteen-year-old girl, in whom a hero is in love without memory. She is charming, sweet and naive.


Compositional content of the work can be divided into two parts: the events at the ball and after the ball.

The first lines of the narrative are the discussion of wise friends that the environment can influence the fate of a person. One of them, Ivan Vasilyevich, believing that “it’s all about the case” suggests listening to the story from his life.

His story begins with a description of the ball in the house of the provincial leader. Happy Ivan enjoys socializing with his girlfriend. Everything seems to him wonderful: wonderful and kind hosts, beautiful outfits, a dazzling hall, merry music. Throughout the evening, the hero does not take his eyes off his beloved. He watches with delight the dancing colonel and his daughter. Touched by his self-made boots, thinking that his father for the sake of Varenka saves on himself and goes to the victims. A young man is ready to love the whole

world. “I was not only happy and happy, I was happy, I was blessed, I was kind, I was not I, but some unearthly creature who knows no evil and is capable of one good,” the narrator recalls.

Inspired by impressions, the narrator, returning home, remains in a state of bliss. He goes out into the street. Early morning, a waking city, rare passers-by. The surrounding seemed “nice and significant.” This part of the story is imbued with a feeling of kindness and light. Brilliant eyes, joyful smiles, white and pink colors surround the young lover.

The mood changes dramatically in the next part of the narrative. Ivan Vasilyevich in the scattered morning fog saw a picture that struck his imagination. Between the soldiers with sticks in their hands they drove the Tatar. His co-workers badly beat him on orders from his superiors, punishing him for escape. His back turned into something “motley, wet, red, unnatural.” The young man heard the words of the poor fellow. He did not speak, but sobbed: “Brothers, be merciful.” Brothers, pardon me. ” But the punishment continued. In a man who was in charge of torture, Ivan Vasilyevich unexpectedly recognized the father of his beloved Varenka. The officer, without removing his gloves, beat one of the soldiers who decided to regret the unhappy man. Noticing Ivan Vasilyevich, Pyotr Vladislavovich pretended that they were not acquainted and continued to monitor the execution. The main character felt horror and shame. On his way home, he tried to find an excuse for the actions of the colonel, but before him again and again a terrible picture arose, and in his ears sounded unpleasant sharp music. He was scary, scared and sad.

This event radically changed the life of a young man. He stopped meeting with Varenka, “love has waned.” For a long time I tried to understand what I saw. I thought that he did not understand something important in this life. But “no matter how hard I tried and then I could not recognize it.” Therefore, he did not want to be an officer, he did not become an official. World outlook and moral principles did not allow him to serve the state with such cruel and unfair laws.


LN Tolstoy’s story was created more than a century ago, but has not lost its relevance. How to choose your own way of life, not to succumb to circumstances? These questions still worry every young man today. The work helps to understand the historical past of our country, warns against mistakes. On the example of the protagonist, we learn kindness, honesty and mercy. Therefore, do not limit yourself to an acquaintance with a short retelling of the story “After the ball.” You should read the text of the great classic completely.

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Summary “After the ball”