Comparison between "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" by Leo Tolstoy, and "Faust," by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Essay by pak123Junior High, 9th gradeA+, July 2007

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"Compare and Contrast"The protagonists, Poham in "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" by Leo Tolstoy, and Faust in "Faust," part 1 written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, are similar and different in many ways. The characters of the devils as drawn by Goethe and Tolstoy also have many things in common. Both of the stories are about greed and what people are willing to do to get what they want.

"How Much Land Does a Man Need" is a well-crafted adaptation of a short story by 19th century Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. The story follows the life of a poor, hard-working sharecropper, Poham, who dreams of becoming a successful farmer of his own land. His greed of becoming wealthy and owning land leads to his death. "Faust" is a well written short story by an eighteenth century German novelist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The story is about god versus the devil or good versus evil and in the story god and the devil agreed to a wager: with God's permission, Mephistopheles would attempt to lure the soul of a certain scholar-alchemist named Faust down with him to hell; God maintained that Faust would and could be saved, despite his proud reliance on reason and sorcery rather than faith.

Faust who was greedy for knowledge and experience eventually made a deal with the devil. The deal is that Mephistopheles would serve Faust in this life and when Faust would die he would come to hell and help Mephistopheles in return for giving Faust all this power. There many differences and similarities between Faust and Poham. For example, one major and significant difference between Poham and Faust is that Poham was greedy for land and wealth but Faust wanted unlimited knowledge and he wanted to experience everything.