Marshall Et Al
In the short story of How Much Land Does a Man Need? written in 1886 by Leo Tolstoy looks at the situation behind the purpose. It dawns among most as what the true nature was behind this story. Most have arrived at the stance of how this short story comes with the notion of how greed plays into the down fall of man. This view of what the purpose of this story may have direct correspondence to the world around Tolstoy and how his mindset began to change. The correlation will allow the meaning of the story to send a rift across the culture it touched during the time it was released.
The purpose of this short story unfolds in the latter part of Tolstoy's life. Towards the end of his life ‘‘his writings became fervent attacks on private ownership, capitalism, the Orthodox Church, and Russia's czarist government’’ (Marshall, Mongello, & Vignery, 2006). Tolstoy, in this story, wanted to give off the perception that human ambition has destructive consequences (Bernal, 2012). Also, the purpose was to show ‘‘how greed and an excessive desire for earthly wealth can destroy a person’’ (Bernal, 2012). People do not really need much in this world to have a sense of fulfillment, but they do need to appreciate the little things that they do have (Rose, 2015). Really the things a person needs in their lives are family, love, and wisdom although they do not last forever anyone can create lasting change in others (Rose, 2015). Tolstoy is reverent in proving the changes that had occurred to him in his later life through this story. Tolstoy lived his life during the Victorian Era (Marshall et al., 2006). This period is remembered as appearing to everyone else as a life of the utmost sophistication and beauty in public, but behind closed doors the despair and struggles of the people shine brightest (Marshall et al., 2006). Although he lived in Russia during this time, his moral did change when he underwent a spiritual change to try to do what is good and be closer to God (Marshall et al., 2006). This short story was important during this time because Tolstoy always wanted to go against what was socially accepted during the his time (Troyat, 2001). This stance allowed him to push slightly against the standard in which society believed to be morally correct. He used his overreaching ambition to discover ‘‘humanity's ethical and spiritual obligations’’ to the complexity that the world presents (Poupard, 1983). The concept that Tolstoy expands upon in this short story is that people need to value what they have and not for them to overreach their limits with the ambition of being successful in public and to others (Bernal, 2012). Tolstoy, in his short story How Much Land Does a Man Need?, explored humans ‘‘Getting what we need, Tolstoy suggests, allows us to live. Getting what we want-well, that can another matter altogether’’ (Marshall et al., 2006). When people misplace their values and invest their energy in that which no one can really own sorrow, will abound them (Holbrook, 2014). Tolstoy viewed human nature to have ‘‘aggressiveness, jealousy, sloth, falsehood and violence’’ woven into their hearts (Troyat, 2001). He always thought of socially accepted standards to infuriate him so he always wanted to push against it (Troyat, 2001). ‘‘He would impose a whole new scale of values upon the mass, reject all that has been said and done before him; if need be, recreate the world’’ (Troyat, 2001). In the short story, he came to the idea of attaining more in life can make you happy in this world to value the little that you have because you do not know when it can be taken away (Rose, 2015). Tolstoy made sure to have his views go against the societal standards that were presented by the world in his short story (Troyat, 2001).
Tolstoy, after his life changing experience of growing closer to God, allowed himself to be subject to a more critical view of human ambition (Marshall et al., 2006). He achieved his purpose of going against the standards of his time by allowing his short story to convey the greed of human ambition of wanting more (Bernal, 2012). Tolstoy's How Much Land Does a Man Need? is referred to by one James Joyce, an Irish novelist, as ‘‘the greatest story that the literature of the world knows’’ (Morson, 2017). His purpose of portraying the desire of man to obtain more than what is needed has survived the test of time to be regarded as something that applies to society at all levels (Morson, 2017).