The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

Ivan “Homeless” Nikolaevich Ponyrev Character Analysis

Ivan is a young, misguided poet. The novel both starts and ends with him. In the novel’s opening, Ivan discusses a recent poem of his with Berlioz, who is telling him that the poem is no good as it makes Jesus seem to real. The pair then encounter Woland, who mystifies Ivan by insisting that Jesus is real, making Ivan confused and frustrated (particularly as his intellect is no match for either Berlioz’s or Woland’s). When Berlioz is killed by a tram—true to Woland’s prediction—Ivan gives chase to Woland, Koroviev, and Behemoth. When he arrives in sodden clothing at Griboedov’s and tries to explain what happened, he is thought to be insane and is committed to Dr. Stravinsky’s psychiatric clinic. Here he meets the master, who tells him more about Pontius Pilate (continuing where Woland left off) and confirms that Ivan is not mad at all. Ivan, however, becomes increasingly used to his placid surroundings and decides not to try and escape. Ivan renounces his poetry at the master’s request and, though he recovers from his mental distress—a recovery partly based on the fallacy that Woland’s antics were the work of a gang of hypnotists—he always feels anxious when the spring full moon comes around. Each time it does, his night ends with the same dream: Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Nozri walking towards the moon engaged in conversation. The dream always concludes with a visit from the master and Margarita, who comfort him.

Ivan “Homeless” Nikolaevich Ponyrev Quotes in The Master and Margarita

The The Master and Margarita quotes below are all either spoken by Ivan “Homeless” Nikolaevich Ponyrev or refer to Ivan “Homeless” Nikolaevich Ponyrev. 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:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Random House edition of The Master and Margarita published in 1965.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The foreigner sat back on the bench and asked, even with a slight shriek of curiosity:

‘You are - atheists?!’

‘Yes, we’re atheists,’ Berlioz smilingly replied, and Homeless thought, getting angry: ‘Latched on to us, the foreign goose!’

‘Oh, how lovely!’ the astonishing foreigner cried out and began swivelling his head, looking from one writer to the other.

‘In our country atheism does not surprise anyone,’ Berlioz said with diplomatic politeness. ‘The majority of our population consciously and long ago ceased believing in the fairy tales about God.’

Page Number: 12
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Chapter 5 Quotes

Any visitor finding himself in Griboedov’s, unless of course he was a total dim-wit, would realize at once what a good life those lucky fellows, the Massolit members, were having, and black envy would immediately start gnawing at him. And he would immediately address bitter reproaches to heaven for not having endowed him at birth with literary talent, lacking which there was naturally no dreaming of owning a Massolit membership card, brown, smelling of costly leather, with a wide gold border – a card known to all Moscow.

Page Number: 56
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Chapter 13 Quotes

He suddenly wiped an unexpected tear with his right sleeve and continued: ‘Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn’t so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other, and that she was living with a different man ... as I was, too, then ... with that, what’s her ...’

Page Number: 140-141
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Chapter 19 Quotes

Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out!

Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!

No! The master was mistaken when with bitterness he told Ivanushka in the hospital, at that hour when the night was falling past midnight, that she had forgotten him. That could not be. She had, of course, not forgotten him.

First of all let us reveal the secret which the master did not wish to reveal to Ivanushka. His beloved’s name was Margarita Nikolaevna.

Page Number: 217
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Ivan “Homeless” Nikolaevich Ponyrev Character Timeline in The Master and Margarita

The timeline below shows where the character Ivan “Homeless” Nikolaevich Ponyrev appears in The Master and Margarita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1. Never Talk with Strangers
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...important literary journal and chairman of Massolit (the Moscow writers’ union), and the younger poet Ivan Nikolaevich Ponyrev, who writes under the pseudonym “Homeless.” (full context)
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...and apparently “see-through” citizen who appears to be levitating just above the ground. Berlioz tells Ivan about the sight, explaining it as “something like a hallucination” and exclaiming dismissively, “Pah, the... (full context)
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Berlioz talks about Ivan’s latest poem, an “anti-religious” consideration of Jesus. In Berlioz’s opinion, the entire thing needs re-writing,... (full context)
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...shaped like a poodle’s head,” sits down on the next bench down from Berlioz and Ivan. As Berlioz continues to chastise Ivan for making Jesus seem “that he really was born,”... (full context)
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As Berlioz and Ivan try to figure out where he is from, the stranger expresses his amazement that Berlioz... (full context)
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...asks Berlioz for his opinion on the “five proofs of God’s existence.” Berlioz dismisses these; Ivan exclaims that Immanuel Kant deserves to be imprisoned for his proofs. The stranger laughs, explaining... (full context)
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...be cut off … by a Russian woman.” He also mentions something about “sunflower oil.” Ivan and Berlioz think the stranger is mad as he goes on to imply that Berlioz’s... (full context)
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Much to Ivan’s shock, the stranger address him by his name. The man explains that he has read... (full context)
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Having somehow comprehended what Berlioz and Ivan were saying, the stranger produces his passport, invitation to a consultation in Moscow, and his... (full context)
Chapter 3. The Seventh Proof
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...leans in and whispers that he knows the story better as he was actually there. Ivan and Berlioz, perplexed, notice that the professor has one “totally insane” green eye and one... (full context)
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...his visit to Moscow. The professor, winking, says he’ll be staying at Berlioz’s. He asks Ivan if he believes in the devil. Ivan, distressed, cries out that there is no devil,... (full context)
Chapter 4. The Chase
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Hearing the commotion, Ivan rushes to the turnstile and sees Berlioz’s head bouncing on the pavement. He overhears two... (full context)
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Ivan tries desperately to figure out what happened, concluding that the professor can’t have been insane... (full context)
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Ivan asks the professor to confess his identity, but he pretends to not speak Russian. Koroviev... (full context)
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Ivan notices the two men suddenly far off in the distance. They appear to be joined... (full context)
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Ivan keeps chasing the professor, “struck by the supernatural speed of the chase.” After many twists... (full context)
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Without knowing why, Ivan steals a religious candle from the apartment and heads to the Moscow river, convinced now... (full context)
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Exiting the river, Ivan is horrified to see that his clothes have disappeared. Someone else has left a torn... (full context)
Chapter 5. There Were Doings at Griboedov’s
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With the restaurant largely back to normal, the diners are shocked for the second time: Ivan appears on the verandah through “an opening in the trellis,” dressed ridiculously in a torn... (full context)
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Ivan rants frenziedly about the events surrounding the strange professor, making little sense to anyone in... (full context)
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Ivan grows increasingly distressed, spilling candle wax on tables and letting out a “terrible war cry.”... (full context)
Chapter 6. Schizophrenia, as was Said
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It’s now half past one in the morning. The poet Riukhin, who helped carry Ivan into the police truck, stands in the examining room of the psychiatric clinic, explaining to... (full context)
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Ivan protests furiously that he isn’t insane; despite the fantastical nature of what Ivan is saying,... (full context)
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The doctor questions Ivan on his story. Barely stopping to catch his breath, Ivan explains all about the strange... (full context)
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When the others block his exit through the door, Ivan tries to jump through the window, which absorbs his impact without breaking. The orderlies hold... (full context)
Chapter 8. The Combat Between the Professor and the Poet
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At the same time that Styopa is transported to Yalta, Ivan wakes up groggily in the clinic. He presses a button beside him to call for... (full context)
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The attendant takes Ivan to the examining room, where two women and a man, all wearing white coats, are... (full context)
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The clinic staff ask Ivan a series of questions about his life and give him a medical check. Ivan is... (full context)
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Dr. Stravinsky asks Ivan if he is a poet, which he gloomily confirms. Ivan protests that he isn’t mad... (full context)
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Dr. Stravinsky has a sympathetic manner and asks Ivan to continue. The latter man goes on to talk about his attempts to chase the... (full context)
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Dr. Stravinsky tells Ivan that he will check him out of the clinic if Ivan states that he is... (full context)
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Ivan agrees to stay. He also agrees to write an account of his story, rather than... (full context)
Chapter 11. Ivan Splits in Two
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As the rain pours down outside, thunder and lightning filling the sky, Ivan is crying in his room at the clinic. He has been making a concerted effort... (full context)
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A nurse visits Ivan and, noticing his distress, grabs Ivan’s papers and runs with them to the doctor. The... (full context)
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Later in the evening, Ivan is surprised by how little he is frightened now, and how calmly he looks on... (full context)
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As he thinks placidly about the conversation with the professor at Patriach’s Ponds, Ivan hears a deep voice call him “a fool.” Ivan doesn’t mind and starts to fall... (full context)
Chapter 13. The Hero Enters
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Back at the clinic, Ivan watches as the man who knocked on his window (a.k.a. the master) comes in. This... (full context)
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The master asks Ivan who he is. When Ivan says that he is a poet, the guest makes him... (full context)
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Coming back in, the master tells Ivan of a new arrival at the clinic: a fat man (Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy) who keeps... (full context)
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At Ivan’s conclusion, the man puts his hands together “prayerfully,” saying “Oh, how I guessed it! How... (full context)
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Ivan begs the master to tell him the identity of the strange professor. Making Ivan promise... (full context)
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If the devil has truly come to Moscow, asks Ivan, shouldn’t someone “catch him?” The master says he wishes that he had met Woland, and... (full context)
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The master proceeds to tell Ivan his story. He was a historian by education and speaks many languages. He won a... (full context)
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...finishing the novel and having to “leave his secret refuge and go out into life.” Ivan notices that his black cap is embroidered with a yellow “M.” (full context)
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...lover, fearing the heartbreak that would overcome her from believing that he is mad. Despite Ivan’s requests to hear what happened to Yeshua and Pilate, the master decides it is time... (full context)
Chapter 15. Nikanor Ivanovich’s Dream
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Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, the chair of the Sadovaya street tenants’ association who was earlier arrested for holding... (full context)
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Nikanor’s distress at his dream woke Ivan up. The doctor came by to calm Ivan, and as the latter fell back to... (full context)
Chapter 24. The Extraction of the Master
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...“cure” the master. The master explains to Woland that his fellow patient at the clinic, Ivan Homeless, told him about their meeting at Patriarch’s Ponds. (full context)
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...a witch; Woland grants her requests and she flies out of the window. Then Nikolai Ivanovich appears, returned to human form. Woland dismisses him “with special pleasure,” after Behemoth and Hella... (full context)
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...as a series of distressed individuals fled apartment no. 50 through a broken window: Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, Nikolai Ivanovich, and Varenukha. She then witnessed Woland leave with his entourage, alongside the... (full context)
Chapter 27. The End of Apartment no. 50
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Investigators then head to Professor Stravinsky’s clinic, figuring out that Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, George Bengalsky, and Ivan Nokolaevich Homeless have all been victims of Woland’s gang. They... (full context)
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Next to be interviewed is Nikolai Ivanovich, who shows the investigators his certificate recognizing his attendance at “Satan’s ball.” He tells them... (full context)
Chapter 30. It’s Time! It’s Time!
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The master and Margarita go into the clinic while Azazello waits outside. They find Ivan’s room and go in; Ivan greets the master excitedly. The master explains that is leaving,... (full context)
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Ivan asks if the master found Margarita, and if she remained faithful to him. The master... (full context)
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Ivan calls for the nurse. She asks if the storm is upsetting him, but Ivan actually... (full context)
Epilogue
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Ivan becomes a professor at the “Institute of History and Philosophy.” Each spring full moon, he... (full context)
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After sitting on the bench, Ivan’s spring full moon ritual takes him to a Gothic mansion in the lanes of the... (full context)
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Ivan then returns home, where his wife watches over him as he weeps in his sleep—the... (full context)
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...as they rise towards the moon. As a river of moonlight spreads in all directions, Ivan encounters the master and Margarita. Ivan asks if “it ended with that?” The master confirms... (full context)