What Does Pahom Want? What Conflicts Does He Have To Overcome To Get It?

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Elica Zadeh Profile
Elica Zadeh answered

Hello,

The character you refer to, Pahom, is the protagonist in Leo Tolstoy's short story How Much Land Does a Man Need?

Pahom's goal is to acquire land. The conflict lies in the fact that he has a burgeoning desire to gain more and more land, but no matter how much he gains, it is simply never enough. This results in a continuous inner conflict within Pahom himself who can never satisfy his insatiable need for more. The external conflict also ties in with the fact that he did not enjoy paying tax for land, but once he gained land himself, he too charged tax. In order to acquire his land, he had to find a way to overcome all the taxes and fines he was burdened with.

The whole story is based on a conflict in essence, since Pahom does not understand or attribute his actions to the devil, and fails to realise that the devil is active through him and through people he meets throughout the story.

The irony at the end of the story is that when Pahom dies through an excessive greed for land which causes him fatal exhaustion, he is buried in an ordinary 6 feet deep grave, which answers the question in the title of the story.

I hope this helps.


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