University of Kentucky

Poster Title

What Motifs and Style Components Shaped Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita"?

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Mikhail Bulgakov (1899-1940) was an educated Russian who had grown up in Kiev, in a time before Stalinism permeated everything in Soviet Russian culture. Having been raised in prerevolutionary Russia, Bulgakov was able to compare life before and after the Bolshevik Revolution in the USSR. In response to the chaotically changing nation around him, Bulgakov wrote novels, short stories, and plays that satirized and criticized the changing society. Throughout these various literary outlets Bulgakov wove distinct themes and used an immersive type of narration. These various elements of his narratives and plays allowed him to insert his own ideas about the changing Russian state, as well as the Communist Revolution. His woven-in commentary on Russia throughout his works revealed Bulgakov to be a man who did not support the Socialist Revolution and looked to the impact that it would have on the future of his country. To better understand Mikhail Bulgakov’s works and narrative style, this literary project studying Bulgakov’s works until his last novel relies on various methods, such as: literary analysis that examines the theme, narrative approach, and composition of the works; crossreferencing distinct motifs and themes among Bulgakov’s novels; consulting literary criticism Bulgakov’s novels; an examination of the texts within their historical context; consultations with the mentor regarding readings of the novel and the historical and literary significance of the works. Each method contributed both information and analytical models that helped to shape the reading and analysis of Bulgakov’s novels. This narrative study has proved that Bulgakov was determined to speak his mind, even though he was constantly threatened by retribution from the authorities. As his novels reveal, Bulgakov constructed an intricate web of thematic and narrative elements that recur throughout his novels, and the stylistic choices that he made throughout his writing career helped shape how his final novel— The Master and Margarita—was written so effectively.

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What Motifs and Style Components Shaped Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita"?

Mikhail Bulgakov (1899-1940) was an educated Russian who had grown up in Kiev, in a time before Stalinism permeated everything in Soviet Russian culture. Having been raised in prerevolutionary Russia, Bulgakov was able to compare life before and after the Bolshevik Revolution in the USSR. In response to the chaotically changing nation around him, Bulgakov wrote novels, short stories, and plays that satirized and criticized the changing society. Throughout these various literary outlets Bulgakov wove distinct themes and used an immersive type of narration. These various elements of his narratives and plays allowed him to insert his own ideas about the changing Russian state, as well as the Communist Revolution. His woven-in commentary on Russia throughout his works revealed Bulgakov to be a man who did not support the Socialist Revolution and looked to the impact that it would have on the future of his country. To better understand Mikhail Bulgakov’s works and narrative style, this literary project studying Bulgakov’s works until his last novel relies on various methods, such as: literary analysis that examines the theme, narrative approach, and composition of the works; crossreferencing distinct motifs and themes among Bulgakov’s novels; consulting literary criticism Bulgakov’s novels; an examination of the texts within their historical context; consultations with the mentor regarding readings of the novel and the historical and literary significance of the works. Each method contributed both information and analytical models that helped to shape the reading and analysis of Bulgakov’s novels. This narrative study has proved that Bulgakov was determined to speak his mind, even though he was constantly threatened by retribution from the authorities. As his novels reveal, Bulgakov constructed an intricate web of thematic and narrative elements that recur throughout his novels, and the stylistic choices that he made throughout his writing career helped shape how his final novel— The Master and Margarita—was written so effectively.