The Role Of Money In the Forged Coupon By Leo Tolstoy

The Role of Money in “The Forged Coupon” by Leo Tolstoy


When one hears the name of Leo Tolstoy, the first thing that comes to mind is his great novels War and Peace or Anna Karenina. However, this famous Russian writer created more than 150 works, including short stories, autobiographical novels, and novellas. The Forged Coupon is one of the stories that was published after the author’s death as a part of Tolstoy’s collection. This novella was written in Russian and translated into many languages, including English, like The Forged Banknote or Coupon.

It consists of two parts, and this division has a significant meaning for the reader. Being introduced as a complex story with many characters, The Forged Coupon contains one major lesson that every event has a consequence, and people do not have the powers to avoid or cheat on fate. The author’s plan is to demonstrate how a number of decisions made by people who do not even know each other may be interrelated and doomed. In The Forged Coupon, Tolstoy represents the worth of money and its relation to inauthentic human behaviours and the necessity to recognise the connection between reality and appearance or between actions and beliefs.

Main Characteristics of Tolstoy’s Writing

Any person who has faced at least one work written by Leo Tolstoy would admit that it is not always easy to read his stories. Still, as soon as the tone and intentions are understood, a variety of positive emotions and important training can be acquired. It is the well-known fact amongst many students plus researchers that Tolstoy spent more compared with how six years producing his War plus Peace. Similar info about his some other projects is difficult to get. Still, because The Forged Discount was published right after his death, this could be thought that the writer was not able in order to manage all feasible corrections and be successful in editing in order to its full degree.

Therefore, the particular plot and the presence of many characters in the novella may confuse the reader and make some notes to memorise all the people and events. At the same time, when the last page of The Forged Coupon is read, many controversial issues become clear, and the essence is revealed. Tolstoy did not create his works just to be written and published but focused on the themes that were urgent for society and future generations.

Forged Coupon as a Metaphor

Usually, an acquaintance with a story begins with reading its title and understanding the essence. In the majority of cases, it is not difficult to understand the title and predict the possible development of the events. In the case of Leo Tolstoy, everything is not as simple as it seems to be. On the one hand, The Forged Coupon implies be a story about a person who creates, finds, or sells counterfeit currency. On the other hand, the same title may depict a situation when this financial fraud is defined, and a person is penalized.

Another scenario features a coupon and its presence in human life and its impact on different people. Tolstoy did not like to choose between several options and tried to unite a number of events, people, and outcomes in one story. Despite the fact that “it was a very wicked thing to do”, meaning forging a coupon, “to deny the crime is still worse” (Tolstoy 107). In this novella, a forged coupon is not an ordinary action or subject but a strong metaphor for human behaviour that is developed around currency.

As well as any event, a forged coupon has an antecedent, a story of creation, and an outcome (in this story, multiple outcomes). The beginning was “something quite simple” when a boy, Mitia, deprived of his father’s support, tried to pawn his watch but instead agreed to “put one before the 2. 50 [coupon] and it will be 12. 50” (Tolstoy 68). As soon as they cashed the coupon, it gained some power and started changing the lives of many people, unintentionally. First, it was a family of a shop owner who demonstrated his passion for money and the intentions to earn as much as possible without thinking about consequences.

Then, the coupon touched upon the lives of peasants, bailiffs, and ordinary families with their problems and dreams. The coupon was not just a piece of paper but a sign that the darkest thoughts and behaviours could be revealed soon.

Application of the Forged Coupon in the Story

The peculiar feature of the forged coupon is the fact that it applies to characters, their actions, plus relationships in various ways, both straight and indirectly. Presently there are more compared to 20 characters within the story, plus the effect associated with the forged discount was critical with regard to any of all of them. For instance , there has been a poor typical who wanted in order to “buy a great strong horse, which usually he would would like in the springtime for work within the fields plus for driving around the roads” (Tolstoy 78).

The existence of the solid coupon in their life made your pet an alcoholic, the criminal, along with a horse-theft, who was wiped out by a team of people. This individual did not inquire for a much better destiny but attempted to function and make a living. Nevertheless, the coupon provided a new chance and showed that will earning a residing can be truthful but time-consuming or even fast but sly.

Compared towards the former character, the particular coupon was characterized by certain results, for example, inside Czar’s case. Even though the outcome has been indirect, it assisted the Czar in order to understand his responsibilities and his part in society. Simply by an unpredictable collection of events, the particular same coupon transformed the life associated with a rich Czar who “had actually thought of the particular responsibilities which considered on him” (Tolstoy 198). He has been pretty good or great, but he has been not able in order to realise that their decisions should have got nothing in accordance along with his own needs and needs yet the ones from his individuals.

Appearance versus Reality and Activities vs Beliefs

Along using the question associated with fate and decision-making, The Forged Coupon perfectly describes the connection that exists between human actions and beliefs, deceptive appearance and reality. Among the offered examples and characters, the Sventizky family can be used to understand the ambiguity of the chosen relation. Before the coupon, the life of Peter Sventizky and his wife was successful and well-planned.

Despite multiple opinions of his friends about the cruelty and greed of peasants, Peter preferred not “oppressing the peasants, but , on the contrary, by the extreme fairness of his dealings with them” (Tolstoy 94). He believed that it was possible to earn cash and stay truthful with himself plus other people. Regrettably, the coupon transformed the attitudes associated with several peasants that were not happy using their working problems; consequently, Peter transformed his relationships along with them, which lead in conflict great death.

The reality was exposed – respect plus deals between the peasant and a good owner were difficult. The desire in order to believe that good treatment would lead to fair relationships has been broken, and the particular only truth has been that all cowboys were “worse compared with how wild beasts” (Tolstoy 101).

It was essential to handle people, and cash became the element that divides individuals into people who guideline and those that obey. “Flogging may be the only way in order to wear them order”, numerous rich people considered and were correct simply because they stayed in existence, whereas Peter plus his fair therapy resulted in dying. Another significant end result in this family members was your reaction associated with the wife, Natalia, whose sensation associated with horror and despair was quickly replaced by “a feeling of joy at her deliverance from the tyrant” (Tolstoy 183). The reality differed from beliefs and appearance as there was no place for grief or regret, and the money was the major cause.

Inauthentic Behaviours in The Forged Coupon

In fact, the examples of inauthentic behaviours in the novella are numerous, starting with the father’s unwillingness to help his son and repay the debt and ending with multiple murders. In his intentions to teach the son and control his life, Fedor Mihailovich, failed to clarify the reasons for his son’s debt. He became one of the first inauthentic characters and the “guilty one” in the line of the events that happened due to the emergence of the forged coupon (Tolstoy 209).

Being a wealthy president of the tax department, he was the root of a catastrophic tangle of events based on the money need (Tolstoy 60). The coupon was the result of his wrong decision not in order to give money, therefore promoting the inauthentic being spread via society in the variety of types. A rich landowner bribed a typical to lie in the court, an truthful stableman became the theft, and the military servant that examined the courtroom case changed into the murder of 6 innocent souls. 1 forged, inauthentic discount revealed the most severe human qualities plus proved that actually the kindest purposes cannot prevent from your already defined destiny.

Human Activities and the Well worth of Performance

When people decide in order to be inauthentic plus disregard social norms, they ought to think about the particular details to not become caught and become uncovered. In Tolstoy’s storia, money is really a suggestions for inauthenticity because the desire to not lose profits or even become richer can make people act within the most profitable yet never noble method. A rich store owner, Eugene, offloaded the forged discount on a bad man who do not think that the gentleman can offer poor money (Tolstoy 83).

To conceal his crime plus not to drop his noble encounter in society, Eugene succeeded in play-acting and proved that will he had nothing at all in common having an inauthentic and bad Ivan. It has been expected that Eugene failed to confess yet continued lying. Their performance was a good obligation due to the impracticality to be genuine from the really beginning. An identical overall performance is made simply by Natalia (who needed to grieve because associated with her husband’s death), Stepan (who wiped out as they could), or even Vassily (who humiliated as they was paid). Regrettably, not a solitary person thought regarding the consequences of the play-acting and the particular future that has been based on lays, fake performance, plus inauthenticity.

Part I and Component II

As nicely as any human being decision, action, or even desire, a forgery has its effects. Part I plus Part II are usually not only the chapters in the tale with different plots of land and goals. This particular division is correctly planned by the particular author to show the particular transition from inauthentic behaviours to genuine ones, from delusive appearance to fact, from naïve human being beliefs to harsh and necessary actions. During the first part, the characters demonstrate how powerful the role of money in their lives could be.

People like Stepan, Vassily, or Ivan, are ready to steal and cheat just in order to get some money, either good or bad. Some characters like Maria Vassilievna or Maria Semenovna preferred to work hard and earn a living within an honest method. In all these types of cases, money has been in comparison to power, plus it was your objective of the 1st part to show how power has been gained. The 2nd component was also concerning the worth of energy in human existence. However, this period, power was not really focused on cash but on forgiveness and mercy. Regardless of the existing belief, you can easily kill an individual in order to gain forgiveness.

The Finish that Matters

The second part associated with The Forged Discount demonstrates how individuals with their sins and regrets carry on living. Stepan, that always believed that will his murders produced sense, re-considered their attitudes towards their role in this particular world with the Gospels. The lesson associated with the first component was an knowing from the nature associated with sin. Maria Semenovna begged Stepan in order to “have mercy” upon himself because, whenever he destroyed somebody’s soul, he do much worse – he destroyed their own soul (Tolstoy152).

Part 2 restores the genuineness of human behaviors and shows the pattern of how people can gain forgiveness. The finish is not when someone’s life is more than, nevertheless no whim and regret are usually in your spirit. Tolstoy teaches that “the merciful will go to Heaven, and the unmerciful to hell, meant that everybody ought to be merciful, and the malefactor having been forgiven by Christ” (p. 166). The end of the story impresses and fascinates many readers. Stepan, who killed six people because of the indirect and direct impact of the forged coupon but became a holy man, met Mitia, who created the coupon, and treated him like his own child.


The complexity and involvement of The Forged Coupon prove the mastery of Leo Tolstoy. He did not use a few fantastic elements, medical methods, or hypothetical words. He published about human existence and the associations that people including to create. Cash is a continuous that determines the standard of living, but people should never overestimate its worth. In spite of multiple intentions in order to improve their life, houses, and individuals close to, the characters associated with The Forged Discount confirm their some weakness and helplessness within regard to destiny and death.

Instead of attempting to use cash and social inequality as the energy in human associations, Tolstoy suggested failing to remember about diversity plus simplify all all those concepts and behaviour around. Regardless of in case a person is really a hangman, an standard, a widow, or even a son associated with a rich landowner, mercy is equivalent for everyone, plus one should make use of a chance in order to obtain forgiveness. Existence is way too short, plus people must quit wasting their period finding malefactors, leads to, or alternatives. Copie and authenticity would be the two main components of human joy for all time.

Work Cited

Tolstoy, Leo. The Forged Coupon and Other Stories. Web.

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