How Much Land Does a Man Need?

by

Leo Tolstoy

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The Younger Sister/Pakhom’s Wife Character Analysis

Pakhom’s unnamed wife, and sister of the elder sister. The younger sister is proud of her simple life as a peasant, vastly preferring country living to the more complicated city life her sister leads. Believing that “Loss is Gain’s elder brother,” she alludes to the notion that loss is inevitable whenever wealth is obtained. She openly disapproves of her elder sister’s more luxurious lifestyle and considers hard work a staple of morality. The younger sister claims that, as peasants, her family is “afraid of no one,” and rely only upon themselves to survive. Her defense in the face of her sister’s insults encourages Pakhom to dare the Devil. Pakhom consults his wife in his early attempts to buy land. However, as Pakhom gains more wealth, he interacts with his wife less and less, until she is left behind altogether when he travels to the Bashkirs’ land.

The Younger Sister/Pakhom’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 Younger Sister/Pakhom’s Wife or refer to The Younger Sister/Pakhom’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 Younger Sister/Pakhom’s Wife Character Timeline in How Much Land Does a Man Need?

The timeline below shows where the character The Younger Sister/Pakhom’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 about her city life, finding it superior to... (full context)
Class and Society Theme Icon
God, the Devil, and Free Will Theme Icon
The younger sister adamantly defends her life as a peasant. Believing that loss always follows gain, she prefers... (full context)
The Corrupting Nature of Greed Theme Icon
Class and Society Theme Icon
God, the Devil, and Free Will Theme Icon
Death and Pride Theme Icon
Pakhom, the younger sister ’s husband, soon joins the debate. He values his life as a peasant and does... (full context)