The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita Summary and Analysis of Book Two - Chapters 21-22


Chapter 21 - "Flight"

Margarita flies through the city low and silently, learning how to manage the broom and avoid obstacles like wires and cables. She is invisible, and plays a trick on two women arguing in a kitchen by interrupting them. Then she finds Dramlit House, where the hated critic Latunsky lives; she rings the bell but he is not home, so she ends up having to enter by flying through an open window. Acquiring a hammer, she destroys Latunsky's apartment, breaking the piano, the chandelier, and the windows, and flooding the place.

She escapes as the neighbors start to ring the bell, wondering why it is flooding. As people begin to gather in the street outside the Dramlit building, Margarita descends to the window of a four-year-old boy calling for his mother. She comforts him, telling him it's only boys breaking the windows upstairs, with a sling. She becomes bored with the mischief, and flies away, out of Moscow and over many different cities.

Suddenly, Natasha appears in the air next to her, also completely naked and riding a hog, whom Margarita realizes is Nikolay Ivanovich. Natasha tells her how she too rubbed herself with Azazello's cream; when Nikolay Ivanovich appeared at the door to return the shift that Margarita had thrown down on him as she flew out the window, Natasha rubbed it on him, too. But he turned into a hog, and now begs Margarita to convince Natasha to return him to his human form. Soon they both fly away, leaving Margarita alone again.

She lands on a bank and dives into the stream. As she exits the water, she realizes that there is a party going on nearby in her honor. Someone with goat's feet brings her champagne, and she is told that Natasha had already departed for Moscow to announce Margarita's arrival. A car arrives, driven by a rook. Everyone is departing the island for the party in Moscow, and Margarita follows.

Chapter 22 - "By Candlelight"

Margarita is let out of the car in "some deserted graveyard in the Dorogomilov district." Azazello emerges and they fly together to Sadovaya No. 302-b, apartment Number 50. It is extremely dark inside, and the pair begins to ascend a seemingly endless staircase, led by Koroviev with a lantern. He introduces himself to Margarita and when she asks him how there is possibly that much space inside the little apartment, he answers that "those who are familiar with the fifth dimension can easily expand a place to the required proportions."

Koroviev explains to Margarita that she is to be the hostess at a ball thrown by "Messire," whom the reader knows to be Woland. She agrees to assume the duties, and follows him into a bedroom. Azazello, Hella, and Woland are all present. The latter is sprawled on the bed in only a dirty nightshirt and slippers. Hella is rubbing salve on one of his knees. Woland and Behemoth are in the midst of a game, and Behemoth emerges dusty from under the bed where he has been looking for a knight. He is all dressed up, and when he senses that the others are making fun of his attire, he sulks.

Woland shows Margarita his magic globe, which reflects the actual world. She sees inside a house where a mother and newborn lie dead, and Woland explains that it is Abaddon's work. Abaddon emerges from a wall, but when she asks him to remove his glasses, Woland says it is impossible. Azazello reports that Natasha and Nikolay Ivanovich have arrived.


Personification is used in Chapter 21 as Margarita wrecks destruction on Latunsky's apartment: "Taking careful aim, he struck the piano keys, and the first pathetic howl spread through the apartment. The innocent parlor instrument screamed in a frenzy. Its keys dropped out, the ivory tops flew in all directions. The instrument howled, gurgled, rang." When she breaks the glass of the first window, "The pane sobbed and a cascade of splintered glass poured down the marble-faced wall." By personifying the aspects of the apartment that are being destroyed, Bulgakov conveys Margarita's idea that she is, in fact, destroying Latunsky himself.

Language invoking the devil is used by the narrator in Chapters 21 and 22, and as in previous instances it is ironically true. When Nikolay Ivanovich is turned into a hog, "a few seconds later he was flying, with a rider on his back, the devil alone knew where out of Moscow, sobbing with grief." It is, in fact, true that only the devil knew where they were going, since neither Natasha nor even Margarita seems to have no prior knowledge of the island. When Koroviev greets Azazello and Margarita at apartment Number 50, he is described as "Magician, choirmaster, wizard, interpreter, or the devil knows what else in truth." When he explains the massive interior of apartment Number 50 to Margarita, Koroviev says that those who are familiar with the fifth dimension can stretch any space "the devil knows how far!" Even Woland himself uses this language when he asks of Nikolay Ivanovich, "Who the devil would want to slaughter him, and what for?"

The imagery of a chill indicates the devil's presence much as a needle in the brain has. As Margarita listens to Koroviev describe the role she is to have at the ball, "there was a chill under her heart." When Koroviev bows to her, she is chilled again. Fear continues to be represented as a chill when she approaches Woland's bedroom: "Margarita became so nervous that her teeth began to chatter and shivers ran down her back."

In the description of Woland as he lounges on the bed, the imagery of the needle piercing different characters' brains is explained. His right eye, "with a golden spark in its depths, piercing anyone it turned on to the bottom of his soul; and the left, empty and black like the narrow eye of a needle." The diction choice of "piercing" and "needle" imply that it is, in fact, Woland that causes the sensation of a needle in the brain of characters whose lives he is affecting.

When Margarita meets Woland, it is clear he is lame. He is lying on the bed with bare legs, one folded under him and one "stretched out, rested on a bench." Hella is rubbing "some smoking salve" into the knee of his extended leg. This injured leg is often used in descriptions of Satan, a consequence of his fall from heaven.