MA Bulgakov is a Russian writer whose main period of creative work fell on the difficult 1920-1940, when relations between the artist and the authorities became extremely complicated. Bulgakov has repeatedly addressed the topic “Artist and Society” (“The Life of Mr. de Moliere”, “Moliere”, “The Last Days”). The most complete embodiment of this topic was in the novel “The Master and Margarita.”
In his earlier works, Bulgakov contrasted the spiritualized and lonely man with the anti-humanism of “power” and “spontaneity” of history. In the “Master and Margarita”, his most mature thing, the writer comes to another thought. Man, and in particular an artist, owes his whole soul and conscience to participate in the struggle for the perfection of the world in which he lives. The position of non-participation, and even more so of capitulation for Bulgakov is unacceptable.
In the 1920s,
when the novel was conceived, the concepts of A, I. Oparin and J. Haldane about the origin of life on the Earth took shape. According to their views, the world in general, and the human world in particular, arose as a result of evolution from primitive forms to increasingly complex, from mechanical to organic, from animals to human, from egoistic to spiritualized. As a doctor and natural scientist, a man of great erudition, Bulgakov was familiar with this theory. She found artistic reflection in the novel “Master and Margarita” in different images and symbols. In particular, in the novel “light” is opposed to “rest”. After all, “light” is a movement, and the path of human aspirations to it is infinite. “Peace” is a departure from life. According to Bulgakov, only in the struggle, in overcoming life’s difficulties, can a man find himself.
The court of the earth in the person of the literary critics of Latunsky and Co. condemned the Master. In a society of militant atheism, he was accused of “the apology of Jesus Christ”, in “Pilate”
and Old Believers. And although the Master perfectly understands the whole falsity of these accusations, he is morally broken. But this court is not the main one.
Why does the Master so quickly renounce his ideas, from his novel? He even tries to give up his great love – Marguerite (being in a clinic for the mentally ill, he hopes that she forgot him for four months). Apparently, because earlier in his life there was a lot of accidental, impulsive. Only by coincidence, he begins work on the novel. Perhaps, if not for the faith and support of Margarita, he would not have finished the novel at all. It is not by chance that Bulgakov has never shown his hero in the work, in the efforts of the spirit, throughout the novel. Of course, life’s misfortunes hit him, but not so soon a man must retreat. And he spends his entire life from the world around him – then to the historical museum, then to the basement, then to the clinic for the mentally ill. Knowing the situation in a country where reprisals intensified in the 1930s, that the Masters were placed in the clinic of the authorities on charges of dissent. But no – he gets there on his own, even finds that “here very, very good.” He assures himself that “there is no need to ask big plans.”
That’s why Bulgakov condemns his hero. Master fell out of the chain of continuous human struggle for the improvement of life. The great struggle between Good and Evil for the soul of man is a confrontation of cosmic darkness (Woland and his retinue) and selfless and creative human light (image of Yeshua). The master does not manage to remain a fighter to the end. Behind him remain the worries and unrest of life real and difficult. Ahead of him waits for a ghostly, conditional existence outside of life, outside of “light.” He himself condemned himself to the inaction of the spirit. That is why he is given “peace.”