The Beggar

Think about it

Question 1. 

Has Lushkoff become a beggar by circumstance or by choice?


Lushkoff has become a beggar by choice. Formerly, he used to sing in a Russian choir and was sent away for drunkenness. Instead of searching for another job, Lushkoff decided to become a beggar.

Question 2.

What reasons does he give to Sergei for telling lies?


Lushkoff says that he was sent away from the Russian choir because of him being an alcoholic. He tells lies because if he would tell this truth, no one would ever help him or give him money.

Question 3.

Is Lushkoff a willing worker? Why, then, does he agree to chop wood for Sergei?


No, he is not a willing worker. Alcohol has undermined his strength and he has no inclination towards doing any work. He agrees to chop wood for Sergei not because he was hungry or wanted to work but because he is ashamed and trapped by his own words.

Question 4.

Sergei says, “I am happy that my words have taken effect.” Why does he say so? Is he right in saying this?


Sergei says, “I am happy that my words have taken effect.” He says so because he thinks that he is the reason why Lushkoff became a notary from being a beggar. This is partly true but Sergei is not the only one who made Lushkoff become who he was now.

Lushkoff says that although he is obliged to Sergei for showing him the right path and letting him do work of chopping wood at his home, his transformation is a result of Sergei’s cook, Olga. She was the one who chopped wood and not Lushkoff.

Question 5.

Lushkoff is earning thirty five roubles a month. How is he obliged to Sergei for this?


Lushkoff is earning thirty five roubles a month. He is obliged to Sergei because if he hadn’t come to Sergei then he still might have been a beggar telling the same old lies of being a teacher or a student. But, Sergie helped him get out of the pit by giving him work.

Question 6.

During their conversation Lushkoff reveals that Sergei’s cook, Olga, is responsible for the positive change in him. How has Olga saved Lushkoff?


Sergie took Lushkoff to his home and gave him the task of chopping wood. He asked Olga, his cook, to take Lushkoff to the wood shed and to let him chop wood.

When Lushkoff becomes a notary and accidentally meets Sergie, he tells him that all that while, Olga was the one who chopped wood. She felt pity for Lushkoff and did the chopping herself instead of letting Lushkoff do it.

Lushkoff says that her kindness changed him to be a better person and to earn for his living.