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"The Life of Basil of Thebes": summary, analysis

In a row with such stories and stories as "Judas Iscariot", "Savva", "Son of Man", based on the theomachistic ideas of Leonid Andreev, you can put "The Life of Basil of Thebes." The summary of this work is a biography of a man who, from an early age, bore the burden of sorrows and sorrows, but, in spite of this, he did not lose his love and faith in God.

Main character

Mysterious and severe rock accompanies the life of Basil of Thebes. The brief content of the ideas that the author has put into this work is the understanding of true faith. For the main character, God is love, justice and wisdom. An example of great humility was the life of Basil of Thebes. The summary of the story says that for its author the theme of true and false faith was extremely close.

Father Vasily is a priest, a man who does not feel anything from year to year, except dislike and loneliness. He is unhappy in a marriage. His first son was killed. The second was born sick, because he was conceived in insanity. It would be unbearable without the true superhuman humility of the life of Basil of Thebes. A summary of the chapters will give an idea of the hardships and trials of this literary character, which, it would seem, is impossible to endure to the common man.

Grief in the family of Father Basil

Happiness in his life was. But it was not very long. Only the first years of marriage were cloudless and bright. But his beloved son Vasya was killed, and the priest, who was at that time still young, as if also died. She became scattered, as if she had not seen anything else around her: neither her husband, nor her daughter, nor any of the people. And to finally plunge into your world, where there was nothing more than a yearning for the dead child, she began to bitterly drink. The author says that after the first drops drunk by his priest, it became clear to Father Vasily that this would always be so. Realizing this, he was frightened, brought the medicine from the doctor from a serious illness and, having reconciled, began to just live on.

Joy and light forever left the life of Basil of Thebes. The brief content of the first chapter is the loss of one's son and grief, which the protagonist can no longer share with anyone. He pronounces the phrase: "I believe" - and as if trying to kill with these words doubts in the divine power and justice.

Disease of the priest

In just four years after the death of his son Basil, the wife of Theveysky is much older. In the parish, no one loved the deacon without it. But when in the district it became known about the terrible drunks of the priesthood, Father Vasily was treated with complete disdain. It should be said that in life he was a man devoid of the ability to arouse sympathy. He did not rule the church service. He was completely disinterested, but his awkward and abrupt movements, with which he usually accepted offerings, caused an unpleasant impression in people. It seemed to the parishioners that he was extremely greedy. People do not like losers. Basil of Thebes is a striking example in literature, which confirms that contempt of others is a consequence of failures in life.

In the church, he constantly feels a mocking and unkind sight. At home he is waited by a drunken wife who, in her madness, believed that the resurrected Vasya could be resurrected by the birth of a new son. She asks, demands, begs: "Give me Vasya, pop!" And at the end of the second chapter, the main character, almost despairing, again seems to convince himself of his faith.

The master of the refined and bright literary style was Leonid Andreev. The life of Basil of Thebes, whose brief content is a story about the unbearably burdensome fate of a man, is almost a poetic work. It uses various artistic means and the symbolic words of the main character are repeated with the refrain: "I believe!"


The third chapter tells about the short-lived happiness in the house of Basil of Thebes. The bastard became pregnant and, in anticipation of her son, led a regular and measured life. She stopped drinking, did not do the hard work around the house, did everything to ensure that the birth went smoothly. At baptism, the priest's wife was freed from the burden. The child had too much head and too thin limbs. Father Vasily and his wife spent several years in hopes and fear. And after three years, it became clear to the parents that Vasya's son was born an idiot.


In his work he used various symbols of Andreev. The life of Basil of Thebes, whose brief content is not limited to the tragic death of his son and his wife's illness, is filled with symbols. The birth of the second Basil is another test that fell to the lot of the main character of the story. In the second chapter appears the image of an idiot who dominates the whole family. Inhabitants of the house suffer from bedbugs. Dirty and tattered clothes are everywhere. And the "half-child-half-beast" itself symbolizes undeserved grief and torment, from which the family of Father Vasily suffers.


In addition to his son-idiot, Vasily Thebesky also had a daughter, Nastya. About her in the work is mentioned in the first chapters in passing as a girl with a sullen and malicious gaze. Father Vasily was so absorbed in his own grief that not only did not pay attention to his daughter, but even seemed to forget about the existence of other people on earth.

But one day in confession, talking with one old woman, he suddenly realized that in addition to his grief, each of the parishioners have their sorrows. About them, the priest, stunned by his own suffering, did not think. And in the world, it turned out, there was so much other people's grief. And after this awareness, he first looked into the eyes of his daughter - a sad, embittered and useless girl.

The summary of "The Life of Basil of Thebes" by Andreev resembles a parable about the righteous Job. However, the main character of this story, unlike the biblical character, more than once tries to rebel against fate. In conclusion, he is trying to change something. He wants to leave, plans to surrender his son Vasya to the orphanage. But the wife is killed in a fire. Father Vasily himself also dies. The last thing he sees is the sky, enveloped in fire. The death of Thebes is a symbol of the idea that Andreev has expressed more than once in his work. In the opinion of the Russian classic, it makes no sense for a person to resist all-powerful fate. Sense is only in faith and love.

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