Biography: Leo Tolstoy was born to a Russian aristacratic family. Both his parents died by the time he was ten and his grandmother and aunt dies soon after. From this he inherited the 2,000 acre estate at the age of nineteen. Tolstoy joined the army and served as an officer, during this time he wrote two books. He married, at age 34, to an eighteen year old family friend. Through a course of fifteen years he wrote his two greatest novels, "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina". He then moved on to writing moral tales in a simpified style. He stressed importance on living simply and improving oneself through physical work. He came to a believing that it is wrong to hold property. Being unhappy at home he left on October 28, 1910 and died of pnemonia a few days later.

The short story of "How Much Land Does a Man Need" is based on what greed can do to a person. A simple peseant that believes that with enough land he will be happy has the chance to aquire land. Soon after purchasing the new land he becomes mean toward his fellow peseants and tired of the amount of land he has. He sets out to gain more. When he has more land he is still not happy because he has to rent some. He hears of a lot of land that he can aquire for cheap and sets off again. In his journey, staking the land that will be his, he has to run to a finish so his time will not be waisted. He does make it to the end but dies at reaching the finish. In his death he only needs six feet of land to be buried.

This story can be related to modern literature through reason as first introduced during the Enlightenment. The story teaches that, had the peseant had sufficent reasoning, he would not have been greedy and died. A young person reading this story would learn and understand to use reasonable ideas to obtain goals and not become greedy. The story also can be used to reflect the World Wars and how nations/people attempted to obtain land more than what was needed. The nations/people were not sucessful in their attempts just like the peseant.