Summary of Shukshin's story "Microscope"
Summary of Shukshin's story "Microscope"

Shukshin's story "The Microscope" is studied in the sixth grade of high school as part of the literature program. As a rule, children are invited to read a few more works of the author along with this work. Subsequently, analyzing the stories, students need to find similar character traits of the main characters and their differences.

This article will give a summary of Shukshin's "Microscope" and give the characteristics of the characters. A similar analysis, but in a more concise form, will undergo the story "Space, the nervous system and the shmat of fat" in order to identify similar points in the storylines, as well as common ideas and character traits of the main characters.

by Vasily Shukshin
by Vasily Shukshin

Family quarrel

The main character of the story, joiner Andrey Yerin, came home and told his wife about an unpleasant incident: he had lost the money he had withdrawn from his savings book. Wife, without thinking twice,decided to punish the guilty. She used two weapons: psychological (she scolded her husband for what the world was and called him offensive nicknames - "Krivonosik" and "Well") and physical - she wielded a handle from a frying pan. Andrei tried to defend himself with a pillow, but all the same, strong blows reached their goal.

family quarrel
family quarrel

He tried to influence his wife by persuasion. But his attempts to pity her did not lead to the desired result. She stopped only after she de alt a strong blow to Andrei's head, from which he grabbed the bruised place.

Zoya Erina realized that she overdid it and, having finished the massacre of her husband, burst into tears. She began to lament that the funds withdrawn from the savings account were to be used for winter clothes for the children. After that, still hoping for a miracle, she asked her husband if he knew where he could leave the money. Andrey replied that he didn’t lose money at work, since he withdrew finances from the account after the end of the shift, and he didn’t go anywhere else, even to the pub, as his wife suggested. When the last hope was lost, the wife outlined the bleak prospect of his existence in the near future. He will work double shifts to make up for the loss.

Besides, Andrei should forget about his usual check of vodka after the bath. The husband calmly replied that he had already agreed on overtime work, and he was also ready to quit drinking. Here, the author of the story "Microscope" Vasily Shukshin gives readers a hint that the plot contains a certainintrigue. He makes an important remark: Andrei let slip, mentioning that he had already taken on an additional load at work. However, the protagonist of Shukshin's story "The Microscope" quickly realized his mistake and corrected the situation, explaining that after discovering the loss, he returned to the workshop.

Award for hard work

Some time passed, and the passions in the Erin family subsided. The husband, as promised, worked in two shifts.

carpenter at work
carpenter at work

The wife of the main character in Shukshin's story "The Microscope", although at times she remembered the handle from the frying pan, but nevertheless gradually softened. Once Andrey Yerin brought an unusual bundle from work. His appearance was very joyful. He opened the package and solemnly took out a microscope. When asked by his wife: where did he get this device from, he said that it was an award for labor merits.

Zoe asked, "What are you going to do about it?" To which her husband replied with some mockery: "Study the moon." At the same time, he exchanged glances with his son, who understood his humor and laughed.

Ubiquitous microbes

The story "Microscope" by Shukshin continues with the following events. Andrey Erin asked his wife a question about what, in her opinion, she drinks every day. The wife replied that she was drinking water. To this, the protagonist of Shukshin's story "The Microscope" laughed and replied that she did not drink water, but microbes. He poured some liquid on the glass and began to examine. Andrey Erin followed with great enthusiasm the movement of molecules and harmful bacteria inlens of an optical device. He broke away from an exciting activity only when his wife asked him to give a look to the children. Soon she herself became interested, and she, too, bent down to the mysterious lenses of the device. But, unlike her husband and children, she didn’t see anything special there.

harmful bacteria under the microscope
harmful bacteria under the microscope

Andrey Yerin enthusiastically studied various liquids and objects. At the same time, his wife stood next to him and asked her son in a low voice: “Microbes are such spots that look like grease in soup?”

A dramatic change

The husband said caustically: "You yourself are a "fat!" From this moment on, this hero of Shukshin's story "Microscope" begins, according to the author, to turn into a real master of the house. His speech takes on a commanding tone. He becomes loud and quick-tempered. Andrei spends all his free time at the microscope. The thought that microbes are present on all things around him, and even on people, does not give him peace.

Fight against harmful bacteria

Shukshin's story "The Microscope", briefly retold in this article, continues with the following events. One day, Andrey Yerin made his son run down the street, after which he studied a drop of sweat taken from his forehead. Numerous microbes were also present in this substance.

Frustrated by this state of affairs, the locksmith decided to subject a drop of his blood to the study. He pricked his finger and squeezed some red liquid onto the microscope slide.

The analysis showed that there toomicrobes are present. Erin was extremely excited. Andrei was sure that this was a bad sign. However, he asked his son not to tell his mother anything yet. He refused to study the blood of children - he was afraid to get an undesirable result. The thought of the presence of microbes in the bodies of people close to him frightened him.

One day he brought a thin needle from work, on which he tried to prick some harmful bacteria. His labors were not crowned with success. But he did not despair and said that he could try to influence the microbes with a current.

Serving humanity

The protagonist of Shukshin's story "The Microscope" was captivated by the idea that if you learn how to destroy microbes, you can increase a person's life expectancy up to 120 years. He worked on the realization of his idea, sparing no effort. There has been a significant change in his character, as already mentioned.

From a henpecked character, this character turned into the head of the family. Doing what he loves - experimenting with bacteria, Andrey stopped drinking. Even the sight of his friend, who came to visit him while drunk, disgusted him.

drunk man with a bottle
drunk man with a bottle

Uninvited guest

This friend was Erin's colleague - Sergey. He had already heard about the "scientific activity" of his friend and began to rant about what benefits he could bring to mankind. Sergei also said that Yerin would certainly be immortalized for his labors - a monument would be erected to him in the city.

From pride to disappointment

SummaryShukshin's "Microscope" should be continued with a description of the most dramatic moment in this work.

The uninvited guest, being in the Erins' house, continued drunken speeches about the importance of the scientific achievements of his colleague. Andrei's wife was also present. Deep down, she was proud of her husband.

She was flattered that her husband was considered a great scientist. Zoya decided once again to focus the guest's attention on the microscope, which was the cause of significant changes in the life of the family. She said, "We could give the bonus something more useful, like a refrigerator."

Sergey said that he did not understand what was at stake. They were not given any bonus. And it is unlikely that the company will ever reward anyone. It is foolish to expect this. Andrei tried to make a sign with his eyes that his drunken comrade should not talk about it. However, Sergei was in such a state that he could not perceive any hints. Erin realized that something irreparable had happened. This moment of Shukshin's short story "Microscope" is the culmination of the whole work. The wife understood. Andrei did not lose money, but bought an optical device for his research.

Final piece

The story ends with the fact that two friends, the heroes of Shukshin's "Microscope", get drunk heavily, having borrowed money from acquaintances. They don't show up at home all night. Andrei comes only after dinner. He is met by his son. He asks his father if he drank a lot of money here. He says that he spent a significant amount on alcohol. In turn, Andrei asks where his wife is. The child replies that she went to a thrift store. On the question of whether she swore, the boy answers in the negative - she did not swear. He said that he understood his father and his sadness that his mother would sell the microscope. Andrei sadly says that, most likely, it will be so. But he also recognizes the need to buy fur coats for the children for the winter.

Shukshin's story "Microscope": analysis

This work belongs to the genre of a short story, which abounds in the work of Vasily Makarovich Shukshin. Despite the fact that this author has written two novels, several screenplays and much more, some literary critics say that the story is one of the most significant phenomena in his work.

Many literary critics in their writings turned to the work of Shukshin, for example, Lev Anninsky.

The heroes of "Microscope", as well as the characters of other works, can be described as "freaks". That is how the main characters of his literary creations are called. This word denotes a person whose actions are beyond the understanding of ordinary average people. Andrey Erin can also be reckoned among the owners of this character. He, unlike his wife, who lives only with everyday worries and mundane interests, also has lofty aspirations. The story does not mention his life before the acquisition of the microscope, but it can be assumed that his wife did not allow him to pay attention to his own hobbies, explaining this by the fact that family needs are above all. The character of Andrey Erin isdynamic. That is, it undergoes changes in the course of the development of the plot. From a weak-willed man who completely obeys the will of his wife, he turns into the owner of the house. This change occurs in parallel with the beginning of his "scientific research". It can even be said that the realization of creative potential contributed to the improvement of his personality. However, under the influence of unforeseen circumstances, he again becomes the former Andrey Erin.

The second most important hero of the story "Microscope" by VM Shukshin is Andrei's wife. She personifies the mundane world, the ideals of philistinism. The way she de alt with her husband when he lost money speaks of the rigidity of her character. However, in Shukshin's Microscope, as in many of his other works, the personality of each of the characters is not unipolar, but contains both positive and negative features.

Confirmation of this can be found at the end of the story: the wife did not swear and did not make scandals when it turned out that her husband had deceived her. It can be assumed that she realized that this act was committed under the influence of an irresistible craving for scientific research, and this circumstance aroused her respect. As for the compositional features of Shukshin's story "Microscope", they can be characterized as follows.

There is no exposition in the work. The reader is immediately immersed in the cycle of ongoing events. The development of the plot is quite fast. The climax is the moment when Andrei's friend betrayed his secret. The author uses the methodindirect characteristics of the characters. That is, he does not give readers open comments about the personality traits of a particular hero. This can be judged by the actions that he performs.

In many of Shukshin's stories, the ending is open. The author does not talk about how further events developed, giving the reader the opportunity to think for himself about the options for subsequent incidents in the lives of the characters. This feature of the works, as well as the presence of numerous long dialogues and monologues, can be partly explained by the fact that Shukshin was a professional film director and built his stories according to the rules of scripts.

Clash of two elements

"Compare the fragments of Shukshin's stories "Microscope" and "Space, the nervous system and shmat fat", one of the assignments in literature reads.

The second story raises a similar problem - the clash of two worlds: mundane, ordinary, philistine and sublime, creative. In Cosmos, eighth grade student Yurka rents a corner in an old man's house. The boy is interested in science. He enjoys doing his homework because he wants to be a surgeon.

book student
book student

The old man doesn't understand him because doctors don't earn much. All the ideals of Naum Evstigneich are conditioned only by worldly needs, such as good food, alcohol, and so on. Yurka often gets into lengthy arguments with the old man about the role of science in modern society. He ardently defends the need for such research. His senior comrade considers such an occupation emptya waste of time, and all the information from the textbooks is a lie.

Nevertheless, he was interested in the story of a young lodger about Academician Pavlov, who, even in his dying state, thought about other people and, for the sake of developing science, wrote down information about what was happening to his body.

The old man asks to see a photo of the scientist who committed such a heroic deed, and wonders if the scientist had any relatives.

This character of the story was distinguished by his greed. He sometimes lent Yurka food from his cellar, but he always asked to pay for them if possible. It was a surprise when, after talking about Pavlov, he suddenly brought the boy a piece of lard for free.

a piece of lard
a piece of lard

One can draw a parallel with the story "Microscope", in which the protagonist's wife is a character similar to Naum Evstigneich from "Cosmos". There is also a kind of recognition of the importance of science. And we can say that the old man also understands the main character, like his wife Zoya Erina.

However, in both works, the main characters seek sympathy, but still they are not completely accepted by the outside world.

The problem of the clash of two different worldviews is not new to Russian literature. It was first mentioned in the nineteenth century in the works of such writers as Goncharov, Griboedov and others. In foreign literature, one can also find examples of addressing this problem. So, in Somerset Maugham's novel "Moon and a penny" shows the image of an artist who, for the sake ofArt abandoned his family. He led a beggarly existence, wandered around the world, but he was happy because he devoted himself to his favorite business - creating paintings.


The article provides a summary of one of the most famous stories by Vasily Makarovich Shukshin. This material can be useful for schoolchildren in preparing for lessons, as well as literature teachers.