The novel Master and Margarita raises a kaleidoscope of problems, which are relevant in any epoch. However, the crucial theme of this writing masterpiece is freedom and its essential role in humans’ life. All characters of the novel go through the personal and public challenges, cope with the tragic happenings of the Soviet period, and endeavor to find their place in the totalitarian society which does not leave for people any hope, belief, and freedom. Some of them do not understand the dictates of ideology and elimination of the sphere of free will. On the contrary, the central characters of the novel Master and Margarita strive for the freedom and achieve it paradoxically with the help of Woland.
Basically, freedom through love and artistic work determine the existence of Master. According to the plot, the character devotes his time to the novel about Pontius Pilate after the discharge so as not to spent time in vain and concentrate on the work of his life. That means that only artistic creation makes his life meaningful and free. It is due to his ability to create can he feel like a human being but not a function or an object of the totalitarian society. The love, which he finds in Margarita strengthens his will to realize the freedom in his life.
Master is like a philosopher seeking for the Truth and sincerely believing in it. Such outlook demonstrates that Master does not want to accept the ideology as other dependent and cowardly people. According to the author, “among human vices he considered cowardice one of the first” (Bulgakov, 1997, p. 325). His freedom molds independent and sophisticated way of thinking. However, the tragedy of Master’s life happens when nobody wants to publish his novel. He says, “And I went out into life holding it in my hands, and then my life ended” (Bulgakov, 1997, p. 163). Such unwillingness of the crowd to accept the free thought leads to Master’s disappointment in life. As a result, the character burns his novel. It becomes the first step on the way to the refusal of genuine knowledge and loss of freedom. Thus, in the mental hospital he loses his confidence and experiences fear, which is the peculiar trait of the masses but not of the spiritual leaders. This process signifies the transformation of the free personality to the indifferent individual.
The character of Margarita also embodies the aspiration for liberty. Being 11 years a wife of the unloved man, she has not experienced the true happiness. When a person is unhappy, he or she cannot be free because positive thinking and love to oneself is the foundation of happiness. Margarita finds her consolation in the love to Master. Despite seeing Master’s sufferings, the woman does not lose her faith in his talent and their mutual eternal love. She wants to cure Master’s soul and to return him back to a meaningful life. Margarita’s faith and optimism characterize her as an independent personality who does not surrender even facing the challenges that life brings. For this, the Fortune favored her persistence and desire of the inner freedom.
Woland and his retinue become the guarantees of Margarita’s success and victory in the struggle for the freedom of the soul of her beloved man and her personality. With their help, the woman has courage to fight for her love. Through the trials of becoming a witch she reveals the freedom, and “now joy was boiling up in her, in all of her, in every particle of her body, which felt to her like bubbles prickling her body all over. Margarita felt herself free, free of everything” (Bulgakov, 1997, p. 253). Margarita understands that by becoming a witch she will say goodbye to the former life; however, her reward will be freedom. Her trip to the moon, which symbolizes Truth and Freedom. The author of the novel uses such image as a figure of an independent personality. Such ecstasy appears in the flight when Margarita screams, “invisible and free! Invisible and free!” (Bulgakov, 1997, p. 257).
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Margarita as a heroic woman finds power to stay optimistic and inspires Master for a vital struggle. She raises in him the enthusiasm and striving for liberty. In fact, the woman arranges the revival of Master and their peaceful life together. Woland provides the lovers with such a chance. Approaching to couple’s eternal adobe, Master feels that “Someone was setting the master free, as he himself had just set free the hero he had created” (Bulgakov, 1997, p. 402). Eventually, Master and Margarita reach freedom that was elusive in the Soviet State. The paradox is that the long-awaited and desired state becomes possible not in the real life but in the mental sphere of eternity, where the central characters are placed at the end of the novel. However, it can be considered to be a happy end because Master and Margarita finally have the opportunity to love and create without any obstacles.
To sum up, the novel Master and Margarita is an artwork which harmoniously reflects the eternal themes of good and evil, love and sorrow, faithfulness and betrayal, and the most significant – freedom and dependence. The central characters fight for the right to be free and act according to their moral consciousness. Such struggle becomes possible due to the Woland’s support that inspires the characters for personal development and helps the remarkable talents to find peace and liberty.