Riders on the Storm Essay

Riders on the Storm Essay

Length: 990 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

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"The darkness that had come in from the Mediterranean covered the city so detested by the procurator" (188).  This "darkness," or the thunderstorms which are conjured throughout Bulgakov's mysterious and controversial novel The Master and Margarita seem to come with a reason.  Each time, they bring a revelation of the capacity of certain characters and a vision of some higher power, one which may be above Woland and his multiple identities, one that may be connected with the peace-loving Yeshua and his philosophy of goodness, and more powerful than the power-hungry Pilate.  They swallow everything, erase the boundaries between good and evil, rational and irrational-overall, they are a manifestation of that higher power, whatever it may be.

During the first thunderstorm of the novel, two important events occur: first, Varenukha gets attacked and beaten to a bloody pulp and receives a kiss from the beautiful witch, Hella, which we later find out has turned him into a vampire-all after he had disobeyed the commands of one of Woland's lackeys; second, Bezdomny gives up on his futile and crazed attempts to track the foreign consultant and succumbs to the insanity of his story and accepts that Woland is indeed, Satan.  Neither of these men expected the outcome of these events.

There is at least one similarity between these two odd experiences.  Both men were convinced that they had control over themselves and their misshapen fate, and when these supernatural events begin happening, they cannot believe the irrational, superstitious ideas and try to get to the bottom of what was going on.  Inevitably, both face a power unarguably beyond their understanding of control.  It was a humbling experience ...


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...ide, for those who are weak or frightened-as another reminder of their weakness and mortality, for those who are powerful-as a humbling reminder that there is always a higher power.  It is a brute, blind force which knows no reason, which is impartial and fair to everyone.  Everyone survives it the best they can.  Of all the characters, Master survives his storms most successfully.  While Woland remains banned to a life of eternal darkness, while Yeshua remains what he is, while Ivan and Nikanor Ivanovich continue to go mad during every full moon, Master earns his right to eternal peace with his lover.  Certainly he earned it by creating Woland and his cohorts, Yeshua and his suite, the materialist writers from the Griboyedov, the noseless killer of Gestas and of course, "the cruel fifth procurator of Judea, the knight Pontius Pilate" (335).

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