1. Tolstoy campaigned successfully for the liberation of the serfs in Russiabut he nevertheless held the view that some are masters and others, the majority, are followers or servants in life. Do you accept this idea as true, even in an age of so-called equality and democracy? Why or why not? 2. If it is a given that some are masters and others are servants, what then is the obligation of each, and how is it mirrored, as Tolstoy believed, in the relation of God to his creation? 3. Vasily Andreich Brekhunov is a wealthy man with a special office; how does he take advantage of his office to get the money he needs to buy the timber land he plans to acquire in Goryachkino? 4. How does Vasily Andreich mistreat his servant Nikita in regard to wages? How does Vasily maintain the illusion that he actually treats Nikita generously? 5. By contrast, what kind of master is Nikita to the horse Dapple; do horses count, or is this a peculiar view on Tolstoys part? 6. Why is Vasily so anxious to travel on this December night, even though there is a big snowstorm starting up? 7. What is problematic about Nikitas relationship with his wife Marfa, and how does it reflect the dubious conduct and social disorder of the peasants? 8. What happens on the journey in the snow that might have been predictable, and how is the journey a metaphor for life? 9. Vasily and Nikita could stay all night at the household they accidentally find, but they dont; why not, and how does this decision constitute a turning point? 10. When they are at last hopelessly lost in the snow and Dapple expires, how does Vasily Andreich change at last, and what is the cause of his change?
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