Heart of a Dog Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Heart of a Dog.
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Heart of a Dog Summary & Study Guide Description

Heart of a Dog Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Philip Philippovich Preobrezhensky is a world-renowned physician who transplants human seminal vesicles and pituitary glands into a stray dog to create a new human species. Although the subject lives, his operation is fraught with disaster as the new creature wreaks havoc on Philippovich's household and Moscow. In the end, Philippovich reverses the surgery and returns the creature back to its former state as a harmless dog.

Philip Philippovich longs to do something amazing, something that will add immeasurably to knowledge of the human body and perhaps create new life. He has a medical practice in Moscow where he treats patients who are willing to do anything he asks of them. He has a younger doctor on his staff, Dr. Ivan Arnoldovich Bormenthal, who worships him and does anything Philippovich asks. Philippovich also has a cook, Darya Petrovna, and a maid named Zina.

One day, Philippovich finds a stray dog in Moscow, and he brings the dog home and names him Sharik. He helps the dog to get healthy and strong in preparation for the surgery to transform it into a new creature. A twenty-five-year old man named Klim Grigorievich Chugunkin dies in a bar fight, and Bormenthal obtains his pituitary gland and seminal vesicles for the operation. The dog survives the operation, and Sharikov is born. The change from dog to human is gradual, but before long he is a full-grown man with some of the instincts of a dog. Unfortunately, however, Sharikov maintains the persona of Klim, who was a thief, a liar, and a scoundrel.

The relationship between Philippovich and Sharikov is quickly strained. Philippovich is already upset about the political changes in Moscow, and the Soviet-sympathizing Sharikov nearly drives him insane. When Sharikov begins stealing in order to obtain alcohol, Philippovich doesn't know what to do about him. A member of the house committee gets Sharikov a job, purging the streets of Moscow of stray cats. Sharikov lies to a young lady to get her to move in with him, and Philippovich decides that it's time to fix the problem.

He reverses the surgery, and Sharikov eventually turns back into the harmless stray dog Sharik. Sharik knows that the doctors have done something to his head, which aches in cold weather, but he forgives them and feels utterly grateful for a good home.

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This section contains 390 words
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