How Much Land Does a Man Need?

by

Leo Tolstoy

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on How Much Land Does a Man Need? can help.
An unnamed stranger who passes through Pakhom’s village, implied to be the Devil in disguise. Pakhom offers the traveling peasant food and lodging for the night, at which point the peasant tells Pakhom about his experiences working south of the Volga river. He claims the land there is fertile, and that upon joining the village commune, a person is allotted twenty-acres of prime farmland. The traveling peasant tempts Pakhom with promises of cheap land and a good life, and he later transforms into the Devil during Pakhom’s ominous dream the night before he walks the Bashkirs’ land. This suggests that the Devil has disguised himself as the traveling peasant to fuel Pakhom’s greed for land, and Pakhom takes the bait.

The Traveling Peasant 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 Traveling Peasant or refer to The Traveling Peasant. 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 3 Quotes

“The land is so fertile,” he said, “that rye grows as high as a horse and it's so thick you can make a whole sheaf from only five handfuls! One peasant arrived with a copeck and only his bare hands to work with and now he has six horses and two cows.”

Related Characters: The Traveling Peasant (speaker), Pakhom, The Devil
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

And then Pakhom saw that it wasn't the peasant, but the Devil himself, with horns and hoofs, sitting there laughing his head off, while before him lay a barefoot man wearing only shirt and trousers. When Pakhom took a closer look he saw that the man was dead and that it was himself.

Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire How Much Land Does a Man Need? LitChart as a printable PDF.
How Much Land Does a Man Need? PDF

The Traveling Peasant Character Timeline in How Much Land Does a Man Need?

The timeline below shows where the character The Traveling Peasant appears in How Much Land Does a Man Need?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
The Corrupting Nature of Greed Theme Icon
God, the Devil, and Free Will Theme Icon
In the meantime, a traveling peasant seeks food and lodging at Pakhom’s cottage. The peasant tells Pakhom about a village commune... (full context)
Chapter 7
Class and Society Theme Icon
...merchant who had told him about the Bashkir land. Suddenly, the merchant turns into the traveling peasant who informed Pakhom of the commune south of the Volga river. (full context)
Class and Society Theme Icon
God, the Devil, and Free Will Theme Icon
Death and Pride Theme Icon
Pakhom’s dream soon takes an even stranger turn, and the traveling peasant transforms into the Devil himself, complete with horns and hoofs, laughing. Pakhom discovers that his... (full context)