Summary of the Scaffold

Summary of the Scaffold

Ch. T. Aitmatov
Plakh
The active persons of the book are the collectors of the anasha, a young man banished from the theological seminary for heresy, former zeks, “kulaks.”
In the novel “Scaffolding” we can distinguish three main story lines related to the general problems.
The first line is the fate of a pair of wolves – Akbar and Tashchaynara. Wolves were forced to leave the steppe after people staged a giant slaughterhouse there – a saiga hunt, during which their first cubs died. A couple of wolves moved closer to the mountains, to the lake, but the puppies born there also died when people set fire to reeds around the lake. Akbar and Tashchaynar moved to the mountains, hoping that they would be rescued from the people, but their last four cubs were stolen from the hole in the mountains by a man. And when the wolves began to take revenge for their children, people killed them.
The second storyline is connected with the fate of Obadiya Kallistratova – a young man who was expelled from the theological seminary for heresy; after which he became a correspondent of the newspaper. But Obadiah felt that this was not his calling, and he was constantly looking for his destiny, the meaning of his existence. He decided to go to the Mounukum steppes with a group of “messengers” (anashi collectors) to write an article about them. But the newspaper essay was only an official occasion; in fact, he went,

hoping that he could persuade these young guys, almost boys, to abandon their dangerous trade and repent. He did not succeed, as he could not publish his “steppe sketches”. Disappointed, Obadiah returns to Zhamgak-Saz, where he traveled with “messengers” and where he met and fell in love with the biologist Ingu Fedorovna, who, just like him, dealt with the problem of fighting with anasha. But Obadiah does not find her in the city and goes to the station, where he picks up for “safaris” (hunting saigas). “Ober-Kandalov is a veteran man… in the past a military man, and from a penal battalion.”
Aitmatov described this “safar” in such a way that the practical impossibility of peaceful coexistence of human civilization and the wild nature of the steppes becomes clear to readers. Obadiah, who accidentally witnessed this carnage and tried to persuade Kandalov and his minions to stop hunting and repent, was tied up and thrown into the back of the car, and then crucified on a tree and left the dying young man alone.
In the third part there are new heroes whose fates are closely intertwined with the fate of Akbar and Tashchaynara. The poor shepherd Bazar-bai found a wolf’s lair in the mountains and took four puppies from there. This his thoughtless act caused many troubles in the whole state farm. Wolves began to take revenge on people: they lifted a lot of sheep and even attacked people. But most of all Boston and his wife Gulumkan suffered: they lost the most precious thing they had, the son of Kenjesh.
The “chasers” behind the aasha were beaten and thrown off the train by Obadia, hoping that he would not survive. And when this young man tried for the second time to go against the harsh reality and stop the senseless cruel murder of saigas, it cost him his life. The people who crucified Abdiah did not spare him. But Avdia regretted the wolf Akbar, whom he saw a few moments before his death. People sympathized with Gulumkan, who, having lost her son, howled like Akbar, when her cubs were stolen from her. But the wolf’s howl, instead of pity, evoked only anger in people.
People on the state farm could not forgive wolves who killed livestock and attacked people, wishing to take revenge on them for all their young. But we can understand Boston, who shot Bazarbai, whom he considered guilty of the death of his son. When Avdiy asked the “messengers”, God or money is more important for them, even the little Lyonka answered that money, because they enable him to live better than many people who earn a living by honest labor. But it’s also possible to work honestly in different ways. Boston, who put all his energy into the work, many poor shepherds envied, some even hated him because he had everything better than theirs. For this Boston from the “forefront of production” turned into a “fist”. Party organizer Kotszorbayev tried to prevent the “kulak” from doing more.


Summary of the Scaffold