Eventually he over-reaches, forfeits all his accumulated wealth and causes his own death. The message to take from the story may be as simple as a warning against biting off more than you can chew, or we could say simply that the story shows how human nature pushes us to want more and more. We are never content with our lives, no matter how well off we may be; andwhile trying to improve our standard of living, we put ourselves in danger of ending up with nothing.
I An elder sister came to visit her younger sister in the country. The elder was married to a tradesman in town, the younger to a peasant in the village.
As the sisters sat over their tea talking, the elder began to boast of the advantages of town life: The younger sister was piqued, and in turn disparaged the life of a tradesman, and stood up for that of a peasant.
You live in better style than we do, but though you often earn more than you need, you are very likely to lose all you have.
You know the proverb, 'Loss and gain are brothers twain. Our way is safer. Though a peasant's life is not a fat one, it is a long one. We shall never grow rich, but we shall always have enough to eat.
Yes, if you like to share with the pigs and the calves! What do you know of elegance or manners! However much your good man may slave, you will die as you are living-on a dung heap-and your children the same.
But, on the other hand, it is sure; and we need not bow to any one. But you, in your towns, are surrounded by temptations; today all may be right, but tomorrow the Evil One may tempt your husband with cards, wine, or women, and all will go to ruin.
Don't such things happen often enough? Our only trouble is that we haven't land enough. If I had plenty of land, I shouldn't fear the Devil himself!
But the Devil had been sitting behind the oven, and had heard all that was said. He was pleased that the peasant's wife had led her husband into boasting, and that he had said that if he had plenty of land he would not fear the Devil himself.
I'll give you land enough; and by means of that land I will get you into my power. She had always lived on good terms with the peasants, until she engaged as her steward an old soldier, who took to burdening the people with fines.
However careful Pahom tried to be, it happened again and again that now a horse of his got among the lady's oats, now a cow strayed into her garden, now his calves found their way into her meadows-and he always had to pay a fine.
Pahom paid, but grumbled, and, going home in a temper, was rough with his family. All through that summer Pahom had much trouble because of this steward; and he was even glad when winter came and the cattle had to be stabled. Though he grudged the fodder when they could no longer graze on the pasture-land, at least he was free from anxiety about them.
In the winter the news got about that the lady was going to sell her land, and that the keeper of the inn on the high road was bargaining for it.
When the peasants heard this they were very much alarmed. We all depend on that estate. The lady agreed to let them have it. Then the peasants tried to arrange for the Commune to buy the whole estate, so that it might be held by all in common.
They met twice to discuss it, but could not settle the matter; the Evil One sowed discord among them, and they could not agree.How much Land does a man need is a title with a twist of irony.
If Pahom had reflected on the question and thought about its seriousness, he might still be alive. Further Reading. The story is entitled “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” because Leo Tolstoy wants us to know about what consequences we may encounter. This story shows the greediness of a man on material things.
How man wants everything he could get a hold on. Basically, the question imposed in the title is answered ironically by Tolstoy. Tolstoy’s short story -- “How much land does a man need?” -- is a religious-morality tale which can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but which seems primarily concerned with the destructive consequences of human ambition.
Bryan Patrick Miller, the editor of Calypso Editions, which has just brought out a new English translation of Leo Tolstoy’s “How Much Land Does a Man Need,” welcomed us to the bi-monthly. land, his place in the Commune was much worse than before. About this time a rumor got about that many people were moving to new parts.
"There's no need for me to leave my land," thought Pahom. "But some of the others might leave our village, and then there would be more room for us. I would take over their land myself, and make my estate a bit bigger.
How Much Land Does a Man Need: A Moral Lesson How Much Land Does a Man Need is a story in the moral fable. The theme of the human greed and temptation is very conventional, but Leo Tolstoy treated it with artistic restraint freshness of approach and subtle irony. The narrative.