Summary “The Fate of a Man”

The story of Mikhail Sholokhov “The Fate of Man” tells about the life of a soldier of the Great Patriotic War, Andrei Sokolov. The raging war has taken from the man everything: family, home, faith in a bright future. The strong-willed character and firmness of spirit prevented Andrei from breaking down. Meeting with the orphaned boy Vanyushka brought a new meaning to Sokolov’s life.

This discourse is included in the curriculum of the 9th grade literature. Before you get acquainted with the full version of the work, you can read the online summary of “The Fate of Man” by Sholokhov, which will acquaint the reader with the most important episodes of “The Fate of Man”.

Main characters

Andrei Sokolov – the main character of the story. He worked as a chauffeur in wartime, until the Fritz took him prisoner, where he spent 2 years. In captivity was listed at number 331.

Anatoly is the son of Andrey and Irina, who went

to the front during the war. Becomes a battery commander. Anatoly was killed on Victory Day, he was killed by a German sniper.

Vanyushka is an orphan, Andrei’s adopted son.

Other characters

Irina – Andrey’s wife

Kryzhnev is a traitor

Ivan Timofeevich – Andrei’s neighbor

Nastenka and Olyushka are the daughter of Sokolov


On the Upper Don, the first spring came after the war. The baking sun touched the ice on the river and the flood began, which turned the roads into a fuzzy, not passable slurry. The author of the story at this time of impassability had to get to the station Bukanovskaya, to which was about 60 km. He made it to the ferry across the Elanku River and, together with the chauffeur accompanying him, swam across the old boat to the other side. The driver sailed away again, and the narrator remained waiting for him. Since the driver promised to return only after 2 hours, the narrator decided to make a smoke break. He took out cigarettes, which were wet during the crossing, and laid them to dry in the sun. The narrator

sat down on the fence and became thoughtful.

Soon a man and a boy were distracted from his thoughts, who were moving towards the crossing. The man approached the narrator, greeted him and asked: how long do you have to wait for the boat. Decided to smoke together. The narrator wanted to ask the interlocutor where he was going to such an impassable road with his little son. But the man ahead of him and talked about the last war.
So the narrator also got acquainted with a brief retelling of the life story of a man named Andrei Sokolov.

Life before the war

It was necessary to Andrei in the pre-war time. As a young boy, he went to Kuban to work on the kulaks. This was a severe period for the country: it was 1922, a hungry time. So the mother, father and sister of Andrey died of starvation. He remained all alone. He returned home only a year later, sold his parents’ house and married an orphan Irina. A good husband was caught by Andrei, obedient and not grumbling. Irina loved and respected her husband.

Soon the young couple had children: first son Anatoly, and then daughter Olyushka and Nastenka. The family settled down well: they lived in prosperity, they rebuilt their houses. If Sokolov used to drink with friends after work, now he hurried home to his beloved wife and children. In the 29th Andrei left the factory and started working as a chauffeur. Flew for Andrei 10 more years unnoticed.

The war came unexpectedly. Andrei Sokolov received a summons from the military registration and enlistment office, and he went to the front.

War time

Sokolov was escorted to the front by the whole family. A bad premonition tormented Irina: as if she was seeing her husband for the last time.

During the distribution Andrei received a military truck and went for his wheel to the front. But he did not have to fight for a long time. During the Germans’ offensive, Sokolov was given the task of putting ammunition to the soldiers at the hot spot. But to bring shells to their did not work – the Nazis blew up the truck.

When miraculously surviving Andrew woke up, he saw an inverted truck and undermined ammunition. And the battle was already going somewhere behind. Then Andrei realized that he was directly surrounded by the Germans. The Russian soldier immediately noticed the fascist, but did not kill – the labor is needed. So was Sokolov in captivity together with fellow soldiers.

The captives were driven into the local church to spend the night. Among the arrested was a military doctor who was making his way in the dark and questioning every soldier about the presence of wounds. Sokolov was very concerned about the hand, dislocated during the explosion, when he was thrown out of the truck. The doctor gave Andrei a limb, for which the soldier was very grateful to him.

The night was restless. Soon one of the prisoners began to ask the Germans to release him to dispense the need. But the senior convoy forbade anyone to let go of the church. The prisoner could not restrain himself and cried: “I can not,” says, “desecrate the holy temple, I am a believer, I am a Christian!”. The Germans shot an annoying pilgrim and several other prisoners.

After that, the arrested were quiet for a while. Then the conversations began in a whisper: they began to ask each other about who came from where and how they were taken prisoner.

Sokolov heard a quiet conversation next to him: one of the soldiers threatened the platoon commander that he would tell the Germans that he was not a simple soldier, but a communist. Threatened, as it turned out, called Kryzhnev. The platoon begged Kryzhnev not to extradite him to the Germans, but the latter stood on his own, arguing that “his shirt is closer to the body.”

After hearing Andrei trembled with fury. He decided to help the platoon and kill the meanest party member. For the first time in his life, Sokolov killed a man, and it became so disgusting to him that he was “strangling some creepy thing.”

Camp work

In the morning the fascists began to find out which of the prisoners belonged to the Communists, commissars and Jews in order to shoot them on the spot. But there were no such, as well as traitors who could betray.

When the arrested were taken to the camp, Sokolov began to think about how to break free from him. Once the prisoner introduced himself to such a case, managed to escape and break away from the camp for 40 km. Only in the footsteps of Andrew the dogs went, and soon they caught him. The dogs attacked him, tore all his clothes and bitten him in the blood. They placed Sokolov in the punishment cell for a month. After the punishment cell there were 2 years of hard work, hunger, bullying.

Sokolov went to work in the stone quarry, where the prisoners “manually chopped, cut, chopped the German stone.” More than half of the workers died from heavy work. Andrew did not stand it somehow, and said rash words towards the cruel Germans: “They need four cubic meters of work to do, but enough for each of us and one cubic meter of the eye through the eyes.”

The traitor found himself among his own, and reported this to the Fritz. The next day Sokolova asked the German authorities for her. But before the soldier was led to be shot, the commandant of the block Mueller suggested that he drink and bite for the victory of the Germans.

Practically looking into the eyes of death, the brave fighter refused such an offer. Muller only smiled and ordered Andrei to drink for his death. To lose the prisoner already had nothing, and he drank for getting rid of his torment. Despite the fact that the fighter was very hungry, he did not touch the fascists’ snack. The Germans poured a second glass to the arrested man and again offered him a snack, to which Andrei replied to the German: “I’m sorry, Herr the Commandant, and after the second glass I was not used to having a snack.” The fascists laughed, poured Sokolov a third glass and decided not to kill him, because he showed himself as a true soldier loyal to his native land. He was released into the camp, and for showing courage they gave me a loaf of bread and a piece of fat. In the block, the provisions were divided equally.

The escape

Soon, Andrei gets to work in the mines in the Ruhr area. It was 1944, Germany began to surrender.

By chance, the Germans learn that Sokolov is a former driver, and he enters the service of the German office “Todt.” There he becomes the personal driver of fat Fritz, the army major. After a while, the German major is sent to the front line, and with him, Andrew.

Again the prisoner began to visit the thought of escaping to his own. Once Sokolov noticed the drunken sergeant, led him round the corner, and removed all his uniform from him. Form Andrey hid under the seat in the car, and also hid the weight and telephone wire. To implement the plan, everything was ready.

One morning he orders Major Andrei to take him out of town, where he led the construction. On the way the German didze off, and as soon as they left the city, Sokolov took out the weight and deafened the German. After the hero got out a hidden form, quickly changed clothes and drove at full speed in the direction of the front.

This time, the brave soldier managed to get to his with the German “hotel.” They met him as a real hero and promised to present to the state award.
They gave the soldier a month off time: heal, rest, and see his relatives.

Sokolov was sent to the hospital for starters, where he immediately wrote a letter to his wife. 2 weeks have passed. Comes home from the motherland, but not from Irina. The letter was written by their neighbor, Ivan Timofeevich. This message was not joyful: Andrei’s wife and daughters died as early as the 42nd. The Germans blew up the house where they lived. Only a deep hole remained of their hut. Only the oldest son, Anatoly, survived, who, after the death of his relatives, was asked to go to the front.

Andrew came to Voronezh, looked at the place where his house used to stand, and now the pit filled with rusty water, and on the same day went to the division back.

Waiting for a meeting with my son

For a long time Sokolov did not believe in his misfortune, he grieved. Andrei lived only with the hope of meeting his son. Between them began correspondence from the front and the father learns that Anatoly became division commander and received many awards. Pride overwhelmed Andrei for his son, and in his thoughts he began to paint how they would heal with his son after the war, how he would become a grandfather and would nurse his grandchildren, meeting a calm old age.

At this time, the Russian troops were advancing swiftly and pushing the fascists to the German border. Now there was no possibility of correspondence, and only by the end of spring my father received news from Anatoly. Soldiers came close to the German border – on May 9, the war came to an end.

An excited, happy Andrew was looking forward to seeing his son. But his joy was short-lived: Sokolov was informed that a German sniper shot a battery commander on May 9, 1945, on Victory Day. Father Anatoly spent his last journey, buried his son on German soil.

Post-war time

Soon Sokolov was demobilized, but he did not want to return to Voronezh because of hard memories. Then he remembered a military friend from Uryupinsk, who invited him to his place. The veteran went there.

A friend lived with his wife on the outskirts of the city, they had no children. Attached a friend of Andrew to work as a chauffeur. After work, Sokolov often went into the tea room to skip a glass or two. Near the tea room Sokolov noticed a homeless boy of 5-6 years. Andrei learned that Vityushka was a street girl. The child was left without parents: his mother was killed during the bombing, and his father was killed at the front. Andrew decided to adopt a child.

Sokolov led Vanya into the house where he lived with a married couple. The boy was washed, fed and dressed. The child of his father began to accompany him on every flight and did not agree to stay at home without him.

So the son and father would have lived in Uryupinsk for a long time, if not for one incident. I drove somehow Andrew on the truck in bad weather, the car skidded, and he knocked down a cow. The animal remained unscathed, and Sokolov was deprived of his driver’s license. The man then wrote with another colleague from Kashara. He invited him to work for him and promised that he would help get new rights. So they are now keeping their way with their son in the Kashar district. Andrew confessed to the narrator that he would not have sustained a long time in Uryupinsk: depression makes him not stay at one place.

Everything would be fine, but Andrei’s heart began to play tricks, he was afraid he could not stand it, and his son would stay alone. Each day of his deceased relatives the man began to see, as if calling him to himself: “I talk about everything with Irina and the kids, but I just want to push the wire with my hands – they leave me, as if they are melting before my eyes… And this is an amazing business: in the daytime I always hold myself tight, I do not squeeze out of me or sigh, but at night I will wake up and the whole pillow is wet from tears… “

Then the boat appeared. This concludes the story of Andrei Sokolov. He said goodbye to the author, and they moved to the boat. With sadness the narrator looked after these two relatives, orphaned after them. He wanted to believe in the best, in the best future fate of these strangers to him, who had become close to him for a couple of hours.

Vanyushka turned and waved goodbye to the narrator.


In the work Sholokhov raises the problem of humanity, loyalty and betrayal, courage and cowardice in the war. The conditions in which Andrei Sokolov’s life set the stage did not break him as a person. A meeting with Vanya gave him hope and a goal in life.

Having become acquainted with the story “The fate of a man” in the abbreviation, we recommend that you read the full version of the work.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Summary “The Fate of a Man”