The Master and Margarita is a complex novel which evokes the conceptual oppositions of good and evil. Through the characters of the devil and his retinue, basic societal perspectives of good and evil are turned upside-down.
The novel, at once, is set in two separate time periods: one in modern Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem.
The novel combines three different stories. The devil and his retinue as they take over literary Moscow An uncanny retelling of the story of Pontius Pilate and his cravenness The love and romance of the master and Margarita
While much of literary Moscow is in a state of confused terror and bewilderment over Satans visit, two forlorn Muscovites, the Master and Margarita, find the happy ending that they both dream of.
The Master and Margarita is filled with much satirical humor about the state of Soviet affairs. It also presents many symbolic representations of life in general.
The dichotomous perspectives that are portrayed in The Master and Margarita are quite numerous. The power of love and the frailty of humanity Strength and weakness of the human spirit God and Satan Political satire and real world irrationalities
Although Bulgakov finished The Master and Margarita in late 1939, it was not published until 1966, over twenty years after his death. Because of the novels blatant satirizing of Soviet life, its egregious retelling of the new testament story, and its portraying of satan, publication of the novel seems to have been an oversight by Soviet authorities. The Master and Margarita immediately reached cult status, and it came to symbolize artistic and spiritual freedom for many Russians.
What happened after that in No. 50 is a mystery, although what happened to Nikanor Ivanovich is common knowledge. Locking himself in the lavatory, he pulled the package out of his briefcase and found that it contained four hundred roubles. He wrapped it up in a sheet of old newspaper and pushed it into the ventilation shaft. Five minutes later he was sitting down at table in his little dining-room. From the kitchen his wife brought in a pickled herring, sliced and thickly sprinkled with raw onion. Nikanor Ivanovich poured himself a wineglassful of vodka, drank it, poured out another, drank that, speared three slices of herring on his fork... and then the doorbell rang. Pelagea Antonovna was just bringing in a steaming casserole, one glance at which was enough to tell you that in the midst of all that hot, thick borsch was one of the most delicious things in the world --a marrow bone. Gulping down his running saliva, Nikanor Ivanovich snarled : 'Who the hell is that--at this hour! They won't even allow a man to eat his supper.... Don't let anybody in--I'm not at home.... If it's about the flat tell them to stop worrying. There'll be a committee meeting about it in a week's time.' His wife ran into the hall and Nikanor Ivanovich ladled the quivering marrow bone out of its steaming lake. At that moment three men came into the dining-room, followed by a very pale Pelagea Antonovna. At the sight of them Nikanor Ivanovich turned white and got up. 'Where's the W.C.? ' enquired the first man urgently. There was a crash as Nikanor Ivanovich dropped the ladle on to the oilcloth table-top. 'Here, in here,' babbled Pelagea Antonovna. The visitors turned and rushed back into the passage. 'What's going on? ' asked Nikanor Ivanovich as he followed them. ' You can't just burst into our flat like that... Where's your identity card if you don't mind? ' The first man showed Nikanor Ivanovich his identity card while the second clambered up on to a stool in the lavatory and thrust his arm into the ventilation shaft. Nikanor Ivanovich began to feel faint. They unwrapped the sheet of newspaper to find that the banknotes in the package were not roubles but some unknown foreign money--bluish-green in colour with a picture of an old man. Nikanor Ivanovich, however, saw none of it very clearly because spots were swimming in front of his eyes.
Однажды весною, в час небывало жаркого заката, в Москве, на Патриарших прудах, появились два гражданина. Первый из них, одетый в летнюю серенькую пару, был маленького роста, упитан, лыс, свою приличную шляпу пирожком нес в руке, а на хорошо выбритом лице его помещались сверхъестественных размеров очки в черной роговой оправе. Второй – плечистый, рыжеватый, вихрастый молодой человек в заломленной на затылок клетчатой кепке – был в ковбойке, жеваных белых брюках и в черных тапочках. Первый был не кто иной, как Михаил Александрович Берлиоз, председатель правления одной из крупнейших московских литературных ассоциаций, сокращенно именуемой МАССОЛИТ, и редактор толстого художественного журнала, а молодой спутник его – поэт Иван Николаевич Понырев, пишущий под псевдонимом Бездомный. Попав в тень чуть зеленеющих лип, писатели первым долгом бросились к пестро раскрашенной будочке с надписью "Пиво и воды". Да, следует отметить первую странность этого страшного майского вечера. Не только у будочки, но и во всей аллее, параллельной Малой Бронной улице, не оказалось ни одного человека. Мастер и Маргарита