The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita Summary and Analysis of Book Two - Chapters 30-32


Chapter 30 - "Time! Time!"

Margarita and the Master are in their basement apartment, discussing the events of the past few days. Azazello appears at the window, and Margarita welcomes him enthusiastically. Azazello says that Woland sent him to ask if they would like to go on a short trip with him, and the two lovers agree. Azazello gives them a bottle of wine as a gift, and says it is the same wine that Pilate was drinking. The wine poisons the Master and Margarita, who collapse, unconscious.

Azazello goes to Margarita's house, where, miraculously, Margarita herself is dying - she is in two places at once. He returns to the basement apartment, where Margarita is changing back to herself from being a witch. Azazello pours some more of the wine into her mouth, and it revives her. Soon the Master is revived, too, and the lovers realize they are dead. Azazello sets fire to the apartment as they run outside and mount the three black horses waiting for them.

They begin to fly on the horses; when they reach Stravinsky's hospital, Azazello says he'll wait for them in a clearing and they enter room 117 from the balcony. The Master introduces Ivan to Margarita and says, "Farewell, my disciple," before they vanish away from Ivan. He calls Praskovya Fyodorovna and asks her what has occurred in room 118. She tells him that the Master has just died, and he is not surprised; he says that he knows a woman has also died somewhere in the city: Margarita.

Chapter 31 - "On the Vorobiev Hills"

As the storm clears, Margarita, the Master, and Azazello meet Woland, Koroviev, and Behemoth, also sitting on black horses, on a hill. The Master runs to the edge of the hill to say good-bye to the city; at first he feels "a sense of profound and mortal wrong," but it gives way to "a proud indifference, which in turn was replaced by premonitions of eternal peace." When he returns to the group, they set off into the sky.

Chapter 32 - "Forgiveness and Eternal Refuge"

As night falls, Margarita notices that her companions have changed in appearance, as their enchantments fall away. Koroviev-Fagot becomes "a purple knight with a somber, never-smiling face," Behemoth appears as "a slender youth, a demon page, the best jester who had ever existed in the world," Azazello is "in his true shape, the demon of the waterless desert, the killer-demon," and even the Master has changed, now having a white ponytail.

They land on a "flat, rocky, joyless mountaintop," and Margarita can make out the white figure of a man sitting in a chair, seemingly blind, with a huge dog: it is Pilate and Banga. Woland explains that he has been saying over and over again that even in the moonlight he has no rest, and that he has a bad job. He has been unable to ascend the path of moonlight before him for "twelve thousand moons." Margarita begs for his release, but Woland tells her that "he with whom he longs to speak has already asked for him." At Woland's direction, the Master declares to Pilate that he is free. Pilate rises, shouts something, and follows Banga down the path of moonlight.

The Master asks Woland where he and Margarita should go next, and Woland answers, "Oh, thrice romantic Master, don't you want to stroll with your beloved by day under the cherries bursting into bloom, and int he evenings listen to Schubert's music? Won't it be pleasant for you to write with a quill by candlelight? Dont you want to sit, like Faust, over a retort, hoping to create a new homunculus? There, there is your way! Your house and old servant are already waiting for you." Then he and his companions "plunge into the abyss."

The Master and Margarita see that dawn is arriving, and they walk toward their eternal home, over a little bridge and along a sandy road.


The title of Chapter 30 is a reference to the poem "It’s time, my friend, it’s time!" written by Alexander Pushkin in 1834. The translated text is as follows:

It's time, my friend, it's time! The peace is craved by hearts...

Days flow after days -- each hour departs

A bit of life -- and both, you and I,

Plan a long life, but could abruptly die.

The world hasn't happiness, but there is freedom, peace.

And long have I daydreamed the life of bliss --

And long have planned, a tired slave, the flight

To the removed abode of labor and delight.

Language invoking the devil now becomes characteristic of the Master, since his life has become intertwined with Woland's. As he and Margarita sit in their basement rooms, he exclaims, "What the devil!" And then, of the experiences Margarita confirms took place in Woland's apartment, "No, no, the devil alone can tell what it is all about! The devil, the devil..." When Azazello appears before them, the Master says, "What kind of hypnotists are they, the devil take it!"

Bulgakov casts doubt on the nature of the narrator's existence in reporting the mental state of Margarita and the Master in the beginning of Chapter 30: "As for their psyche, it had undergone great changes, as anyone who took the trouble to listen in to the conversation in the basement would have found. But there was no one to listen in." Of course, this sentence is absurd, since the narrator has proven to the reader that he can not only listen in on conversations, but in fact he knows the thoughts of the characters. The narrator is omniscient, but sometimes denies it.

Azazello poisons the Master and Margarita with the wine sent from Woland, of which he says, "I beg you to note, it is the same wine that the Procurator of Judea was drinking. Falernian." Wine has been a link between the world of Pilate and Woland before; now, the very wine that Pilate was drinking is used to poison the Master and Margarita, then bring them back to "life" so that they might have peace.

In Chapter 30, the weather mirrors the characters' emotions as it has in the past; now, the storm that was gathering as Matthu Levi asked for peace for Margarita and the Master begins to break. As they alight on the horses, the storm cloud is personified as it was during the execution of Yeshua Ha-Nozri: "The cloud rushed to meet the riders, but it was not yet spraying any rain." As they fly over the city, "The first drops were beginning to fall." After the Master disappears from the hospital, Ivan becomes restless because "The storm was raging with increasing violence and evidently alarmed him."

As Chapter 32 begins, night is personified as a revealer of secrets: "Night overtook the cavalcade, spread itself above them and threw out here and there in the saddened sky white specks of stars. Night grew more dense, flew side by side with the riders, catching their cloaks, pulling them off, uncovering deceptions."

Chapter 32 begins with a repetition of the leitmotif "Gods, gods!" This is fitting, since the world of the Master and Margarita is about to intersect with that of Pilate, who has been kept from peace for thousands of years. This motif serves as a link between the Master and Pilate, who both use it.