Summary “Dog Heart”

The story “Dog Heart” Bulgakov wrote in 1925. At that time, ideas of improving human breed with the help of advanced scientific achievements were very popular. The hero of Bulgakov, a professor with the world name Preobrazhensky, in an attempt to unravel the secret of eternal youth accidentally makes a discovery that allows us to surgically turn an animal into a human being. However, the experiment of transplanting the human pituitary dog ​​gives a completely unexpected result.

Main characters

Ball is a stray dog. To a certain extent, the philosopher, is intelligent, intelligent, and even learned to read by signs.

Polygraph Polygraphovich Sharikov – Ball after the operation to implant the human pituitary gland in the brain, taken from the drunkard and rowdy Klim Chugunkin, who died in a tavern fight.

Professor Philip Preobrazhensky is a genius of medicine, an elderly intellectual of the old school, extremely unhappy with the onset of

a new era and hating her proletarian hero for lack of education and unreasonable ambitions.

Ivan Arnoldovich Bormental is a young doctor, a disciple of Preobrazhensky, who idolizes his teacher and shares his convictions.

Shvonder is the chairman of the house committee in the place of residence of Preobrazhensky, the bearer and distributor of such communist ideas so disliked by the professor. He tries to educate Sharikov in the spirit of these ideas.

Other characters

Zina is the maid of Preobrazhensky, a young impressionable girl. Combines responsibilities for the home with the functions of a nurse.

Daria Petrovna is the cook of Preobrazhensky, a middle-aged woman.

The young lady-typist is subordinate to the service and the unsuccessful wife of Sharikov.

Chapter first

Stray dog ​​Sharik freezes in the Moscow gateway. Suffering from the pain in his side, to which the evil cook splashed with boiling water, he ironically and philosophically describes his unhappy life, Moscow life and types of people, of which, in his opinion, the most heinous

are the janitors and porters. In the field of view of the dog appears a certain gentleman in a fur coat and feeds him with cheap sausage. The ball follows him faithfully, on the way wondering who such his benefactor, even if the porter in a rich house, the storm of stray dogs, talks to him obsequiously. From the conversation with the doorman, the gentleman in the fur coat learns that he “instigated live in a third apartment”, and he perceives the news with horror, although his future living space will not be affected by the coming “condensation”.

Chapter Two

Bringing in a rich warm apartment, Sharik, who decided to quarrel with fright, put to sleep with chloroform and treated. After this, the dog, who is no longer bothered by the side, watches with curiosity the reception of patients. Here and the elderly ladies’ man, and an elderly rich lady, in love with a young handsome smart-cheater. And everyone wants one – rejuvenation. Preobrazhensky is ready to help them – for good money.
In the evening, the professor is visited by members of the house committee headed by Shvonder – they want Transfiguration to give two of its seven rooms in order of “sealing”. The professor calls with a complaint to the arbitrariness of one of his influential patients and offers him, if so, to operate with Shvonder, and he himself will leave for Sochi. Leaving, members of the house committee accuse Preobrazhensky of hatred of the proletariat.

Chapter Three

At dinner, Preobrazhensky rant about the culture of food and the proletariat, recommending that he not read before dinner Soviet newspapers in order to avoid problems with digestion. He sincerely perplexed and outraged how one could at the same time fight for the rights of working people all over the world and steal galoshes. Hearing the revolutionary songs singing behind the wall, the professor comes to the conclusion: “If I start singing in my apartment instead of operating every evening, I’ll have a breakdown.” If I start, when I enter the latrine, excuse the expression, urinate past the toilet and Zina and Darya Petrovna will do the same, the devastation will begin in the lavatory, so the devastation is not in the closets, but in the minds, so when these baritones shout “ruin the devil!” – I laugh. you, I’m ridiculous! That means,

They buy a status collar for the ball, it tastes good, and finally he heals. The dog is naughty, but when the indignant Zina suggests that he rip it out, the professor strictly forbids it: “You can not tear anyone, you can only act on suggestion to a person and an animal.”

Only Sharik got accustomed to the apartment – suddenly after the telephone call the running starts, the professor demands lunch earlier. Ball, depriving food, locked in the bathroom, then dragged into the examination room and give anesthesia.

Chapter Four

Preobrazhensky and Bormental operate on Sharik. He is implanted with testes and a pituitary gland taken from a fresh human corpse. It should, according to the plan of physicians, open new horizons in their study of the mechanism of rejuvenation.

Professor not without sadness suggests that the dog after this operation will definitely not survive, as well as those animals that were before him.

Chapter Five

Diary of Dr. Bormental – a history of Sharik’s illness, which describes what happens with the operated and still surviving dog change. His hair falls out, the shape of the skull changes, barking becomes like a human voice, bones grow quickly. He utters strange words – it turns out that he learned to read by the street dog on the signs, but some read from the end. The young doctor makes an enthusiastic conclusion – a change in the pituitary does not give a rejuvenation, but a full humanization – and emotionally calls his teacher a genius. However, the professor himself frowns over the history of the disease of a man whose pituitary gland was transplanted to Sharik.

Chapter Six

Physicians try to educate their creation, to instill the necessary skills, to form. Taste of Ball in clothes, his speech and habits unnerving the intelligent Preobrazhensky. There are posters hanging on the apartment, forbidding swearing, spitting, throwing cigarette butts, gnawing seeds. Sharik himself has a passive-aggressive attitude towards education: “They grabbed the animal, they broke the knife with the knife, and now they are abhorrent.” Having communicated with the house committee, the former dog confidently operates with clerical terms and demands to issue his identity card. He chooses his name “Polygraph Polygraphovich”, the last name is “hereditary” – Sharikov.

The professor expresses the desire to buy any room in the house and evict Polygraph Polygraphovich there, but Shvonder rejects him maliciously, recalling their ideological conflict. Soon in the professor’s apartment there is a communal disaster: Sharikov chased the cat and arranged a flood in the bathroom.

Chapter Seven

Sharikov drinks at dinner vodka, as an alcoholic with experience. Looking at this, the professor sighed incomprehensibly: “Nothing can be done – Clim.” In the evening Sharikov wants to go to the circus, but when Preobrazhensky offers him more cultural entertainment – the theater, refuses, because this is “counterrevolution one.” The professor is going to give Sharikov something to read, at least “Robinson,” but he already read Engels’s correspondence with Kautsky, given him Shvonder. True, he manages to understand a little – except that “take everything, and divide.” Hearing this, the professor suggests that he “share” the lost profit from the fact that on the day of the flood the patients’ reception failed – to pay 130 rubles “for the tap and for the cat,” and the book tells Zina to burn.

Surviving Sharikov, accompanied by Bormental in the circus, Preobrazhensky looks at the canned pituitary gland of Sharik for a long time and says: “By God, I think I’ll make up my mind.”

Chapter eight

A new scandal – Sharikov, swinging documents, claims for living space in the apartment of the professor. He promises to shoot Shvonder and, in return for eviction, threatens Polygraph with a loss of food. Sharikov quietes down, but for a short while he stole two chervonets in the professor’s office, and tried to bring the theft to Zina, got drunk and brought the drinking companions into the house, after which they had lost the malachite ashtray, beaver hat and favorite cane to the house of Preobrazhensky.

Bormental for cognac is recognized by Preobrazhensky in love and respect and offers personally to feed Sharikova with arsenic. The professor objects – he, a scientist of world renown, will be able to avoid responsibility for the murder, but the young doctor is unlikely. He sadly admits his scientific mistake: “I’ve been sitting for five years, picking up the appendages from my brain… And now, I ask myself – why? To one day, a fine dog to turn into such a scum that the hair stands on end.” Two convictions, alcoholism, “to divide everything,” the hat and two chervonets disappeared, the boor and the pig… In short, the pituitary gland is a closed chamber that defines the human face. Meanwhile, the pituitary gland for Sharikov was taken from a certain Klim Chugunkin, a criminal, a recidivist, an alcoholic and a rowdy who played a balalaika at taverns and was slaughtered in a drunken brawl.

At night, Daria Petrovna expels the drunk Polygraph from the kitchen, Bormental promises to arrange a scandal for him in the morning, but Sharikov disappears, and when he returns, he says that he has taken a job – the head of the sub-department for cleaning Moscow from stray animals.

The young lady-typist appears in the apartment, which Sharikov represents as his bride. They open their eyes to the lie of Polygraph – he is not the commander of the Red Army at all and is wounded not at all in the battles with the whites, as he said in a conversation with the girl. Unmasked Sharikov threatens the typist with a reduction in staff, Bormental takes the girl under protection and promises to shoot Sharikov.

Chapter Nine

To the professor comes his former patient – an influential man in military uniform. From his story Preobrazhensky learns that Sharikov wrote a denunciation of him and Bormental – allegedly they threatened murder in relation to Polygraph and Shvonder, uttered counter-revolutionary speeches, illegally stored weapons, etc. After that, Sharikov unhesitatingly offered to get out of the apartment, but that first stubborn, then insolent, and in the end, and does get a gun. Physicians twist it, disarm it and put it to sleep with chloroform, after which a prohibition is issued to someone to enter or leave the apartment and some activity begins in the observation room.

Chapter Ten

In the apartment of the professor comes the police on the tip of Shvonder. They have a warrant for the search and, based on the results, the arrest on charges of killing Sharikov.

However, Preobrazhensky is calm – he says that his laboratory creature suddenly and inexplicably degraded from the person back to the dog, and shows the police and investigator a strange creature in which the features of Polygraph Polygraphovich are still recognizable.

The dog Sharik, who was returned to his pituitary gland by repeated surgery, remains to live and bliss in the professor’s apartment, and not understanding why he was “ripped off the whole head.”


In the story “The Heart of a Dog,” Bulgakov, in addition to the philosophical motive of punishment for interfering in the affairs of nature, designated characteristic themes for him, branding ignorance, cruelty, abuse of power and stupidity. The bearers of these shortcomings are new “masters of life” who want to change the world, but do not have the wisdom and humanism necessary for this. The main idea of ​​the work is “ruin is not in the closets, but in the minds”.

A brief retelling of the “Dog’s Heart” by chapters is not enough to fully appreciate the artistic merits of this work, so we recommend that you select the time and read this short story completely. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the same two-part two-part film by Vladimir Bortko in 1988, which is rather close to the literary original.

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Summary “Dog Heart”