How Much Land Does A Man Need

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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In "How Much Land Does A Man Need?," two sisters were discussing their lives. One lived a more materialistic life while the other was a peasant. Pahom, the peasant's husband, was listening to their discussion and agreed that by being a peasant there are no temptations. He said that if he had enough land, he wouldn't fear the Devil. The Devil having heard this decided to test him to see if it was true. The story then goes on with Pahom buying some land. He was content with it until he heard from a stranger that there was better land elsewhere. So, he moved there and things went well, for awhile. Pahom was happy having ten times as much land. He had land for everything he needed, but after awhile it came to be too little. His greed was growing. He was ready to buy more land.

Then, a passing stranger told him about a place he had just come from. Pahom was told there was better land there and could be bought very cheaply. He went there and found out it was true. So, Pahom made a deal with the Bashkirs, the landowners. They agreed that whatever Pahom could walk around in a day would be his. At this point his greed was out of control. He starts out to stake his claim, but he tries so hard to get as much as possible that he misjudges how far he had gone and begins to have problems walking back. Pahom realized that he shouldn't have been so greedy, as it is taking a toll on him. He barely makes it back in time, but right as he finished, he collapses and dies.

The theme of this story is to not be overcome with greed. Pahom...