The Master and Margarita is definitely my favourite of the works that we have studied thus far in Arts One. Many consider it to be one of the greatest novels of Russian literature, if not one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. It encompasses so many themes and topics; it’s a satirical political commentary on Communist Russia, a religious debate, a love story, and an exploration of mysticism and realism, and I’m just barely scratching the surface with this summary. It is also a fabulous read, a little hard at first to get into, but definitely worth it. There is absolutely no way that I could effectively communicate the depth and brilliance of this novel in this short blog, although I will certainly try to in my essay. Interestingly, reading Master really helped with my interpretation of Doctor Faustus. They both play on similar themes, and even similar plot elements, but while Master is clearly a clever political allegory attempting to derail the policies of Stalin’s regime, my initial reading of Doctor Faustus left me very confused with Marlowe’s purpose and opinions. As an anti-Calvinist I would think that Marlowe would portray the failings of it’s doctrine, but Faustus is a very poor example of the failures of these teachings. He is a ridiculous and unsympathetic idiot who brings his demise upon himself, and ultimately proves the Church’s values. After reading Master it occurs to me that Marlowe may have intended Faustus in the same way that Bulgakov intended Master, a critical and satirical allegory for the times, exposing the flaws of society or the institution that he is criticizing through the flaws and even idiocy of his characters.