How Much Land Does a Man Need?

by

Leo Tolstoy

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The Elder Sister/Merchant’s Wife Character Analysis

The wife of a merchant and Pakhom’s sister-in-law. The elder sister lives a wealthy and cosmopolitan lifestyle in an unnamed town, and she is judgmental about her younger sister’s life as a peasant. Her character serves as a personification of high society and the upper class, and she is thoroughly unpleasant. Her criticism of her sister and brother-in-law’s lifestyle sets off the chain of events that results in Pakhom’s death.

The Elder Sister/Merchant’s Wife Quotes in How Much Land Does a Man Need?

The How Much Land Does a Man Need? quotes below are all either spoken by The Elder Sister/Merchant’s Wife or refer to The Elder Sister/Merchant’s Wife. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Corrupting Nature of Greed Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of How Much Land Does a Man Need? published in 1994.
Chapter 1  Quotes

“l wouldn't care to change my life for yours,” she said. “I admit mine is dull, but at least we have no worries. You live in grander style, but you must do a great deal of business or you’ll be ruined. You know the proverb, ‘Loss is Gain's elder brother.’ One day you are rich and the next you might find yourself out in the street.”

Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

“It's true what you say,” he said. “Take me. Ever since I was a youngster I've been too busy tilling the soil to let that kind of nonsense enter my head. My only grievance is that I don't have enough land. Give me enough of that and I'd fear no one—not even the Devil himself!”

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Elder Sister/Merchant’s Wife Character Timeline in How Much Land Does a Man Need?

The timeline below shows where the character The Elder Sister/Merchant’s Wife appears in How Much Land Does a Man Need?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Class and Society Theme Icon
An elder sister from an unnamed town visits her younger sister in the country. The elder sister boasts... (full context)