"Darkness thickened over Yershalaim". This "darkness" is not only an atmospheric phenomenon described in the novel, it is a reflection of the state of the Master's soul. Even the sun there is ominous, killing, it is dark from it, and not light, as it should be. The heroes are confused, depressed. The power of evil is invisibly present. The Master was possessed by this power, he is not able to resist it, and with his hand he leads, describing the Gospel events, this power. The author of the novel is not a Master, he is a means of transmission. He does not see the Light, he is swallowed by darkness. Man is created in the image and likeness of God. also a creator, but this requires the energy of Light.
Let's do this, I'll tell you the whole ending, as I understand it, though it's not a fact that after the next reading I won't change my mind.
In my opinion (he is actually not only mine, this is a fairly widespread opinion) there is a certain parallelism of action in Yershalim and in Moscow, and the Master with Margarita is such Yeshua with Levi (I don’t need bad allusions). And Woland, accordingly, is such a procurator Pontius Pilate, all this is of course very conditional, they are not exact copies of each other, and if Yeshua withstands all his trials with honor, and Levi does not take anything from Pilate, then the Master is completely broken by this world, we remember how he refers to the fact that his book / teaching was not accepted (he falls into depression, almost close to lethargy), and Margarita-Levi is at a ball with Satan, begs for a Master, and something is there for Frida. And as we remember: "Never ask for anything! Never ask for anything, and especially from those who are stronger than you. They themselves will offer and they themselves will give everything!" And the very name "ball at Satan's", which may be more suitable for the death of Jesus, as it were, the greatest moment of the triumph of the dark forces - all the light ones are killed, this is exactly when Levi is brought to Pilate with the manuscripts of the sermons of Hanotsri. If Yeshua conquers the main human vice, which he himself speaks of (this is what Pilate often recalls later, one can also recall the first conversation between Yeshua himself and Pilate when he told him: The truth is, first of all, that you have a headache, and it hurts so badly, that you cowardly think about death), that the main human vice is cowardice, then the Master and Margarita they cannot do that, they make compromises with the Dark Forces. They hope to get something from them, compare with their behavior the same speech of GaNotsri before Pilate, when he laughs at his statement that Yeshua's life hangs in the balance and even more laughs when Pilate declares that he can cut off this hair, Yeshua clearly gives understand that Pilate has nothing. And the Master and Margarita are unable to reach the height at which Ganotsri and Levi Matthew were, they did not deserve heaven / light, they only need peace
The Master is such a Jesus who could not ascend the cross, he is not bad at all , he is not a fiend of hell, but he is not a savior, not a god, not a saint, not even a believer (like Levi), just a good person who could not overcome circumstances, but caved in under them, or rather, they bent him
But I do not agree that this is a sad end, in my opinion they are not taken away at all or carried away somewhere by Woland, that is, I do not agree with Kuraev, who claims that the end is pessimistic, that de Woland simply mocks them, that the Master this is a creative impotent, Margarita is sterile, the garden is always spring and therefore not fruitful, especially since this is all a thought-out, this is not in the text itself
In my opinion, the end lies precisely in the fact that both evil and good have abandoned them , well, or left alone, they do not belong to either the forces of light or the forces of darkness / hell. Good or bad, I don't know, as I said, the image of the Master is clearly notactive, in the sense that it is who cannot pass the path of Yeshua, that is, this is not a heroic victory of the hero over both darkness and light, and due to this victory, a third path (or at least a no less heroic rejection of both darkness and light), it is rather a mercy.
That is, of course, in the end Yeshua was also spared by Woland, at least at Yeshua's request.
This is by no means hell, this is exactly what the Master is talking about at the end, that he feels as if someone released him, like Pontius Pilate, just now.
and not purgatory, it is something unrelated to all this, something third (with purgatory it turns out the fourth, but I think you get the idea)
It is also characteristic that Margarita carries the Master's manuscripts with her, Levi actually does almost the same thing, and by the way Master and Ganotsri both destroy these records, but for different reasons.
Pilate to take revenge on Judas, Woland destroys almost all the offenders of the Master, well, or it happens by means of those powers that he bestows, so to speak, to various Aphranias
A wanderer (in his head) and a beholder with a quiet protest (to whom?) and not a judge, like Matvey, with a knife and a roll of paper, on which disordered thoughts and scattered words. But he conducts a parallel between the prophet who came "not in peace, but with a sword" and an earthly judge (procurator), and each has his own justice, sometimes cruel. And Kaifa has his own justice, Where human turmoil (bloody) is preferable to turmoil in souls.
The Master and Margarita are two parts of a split personality. K. Jung singled them out, in particular as animus and anima, but there is also a shadow. By reuniting with the shadow and anima (the feminine, intuitive component), the Master comes to inner harmony, which is peace. The holistic personal is able to create itself, it is already independent, like a child who has become an adult and no longer needs a father. It is no coincidence that Margarita came to the master at 11:13 - a time of changes from the position of occultism. She appears, and he acquires a creative gift. Sometimes it seems to me that the whole plot is built around one personality. A set of archetypes ... In this sense, deserved peace is the acquisition of independence. Agnostics will agree with me ..
The Master could not stand the test, his spirit was broken. True love is selfless, Margarita was able to accept the aspirations of the Master, she sees the meaning of her life in making him calm and happy. The master, in the book, experiences severe mental suffering, pain. He refuses to fight for everything that is dear to him, vital, including the love of Margarita, when he leaves. He is seized by complete despondency, his soul is burned out. Margarita, on the other hand, finds inner strength and fights for the Master, goes to the end, is not even afraid of death - her faithful, pure love revives him. Death is given to the Master and Margarita as peace and rest, as freedom from earthly ordeals and grief. The Master did not deserve the Light because he abandoned the most important thing in life — love, which is Salvation and Light. Although, having found their love again, the Light is already burning inside them. And that's exactly what they need. No more and no less.
The Master created a novel that he simply could not help but write, because it was his personal, personal pain and need. He did not try to save humanity, lead him, create a teaching, or give life to a great idea. He was a Master, but not a Shepherd. His motive was purely selfish. This is the point: peace, deliverance from suffering, but not light and not holiness.
It's hard to add anything to the answers above. But ... Remember at school we were explained that truly great works exist without time, remaining relevant at all times. So maybe the Master was not awarded the light because he renounced? I renounced my gaze, my work, and burned it. and it doesn't matter that "the manuscripts do not burn", he did it and deserved only peace.
Having processed Bulgakov's archive in the Department of Manuscripts of the State Library in the early 1970s, I began to prepare a review of this archive. Published in 1976 in the "Notes of the Department of Manuscripts" after enormous difficulties of going through all types of censorship of an extensive (120 typewritten pages) work was destined to become the first essay of an unknown biography of the writer. I will quote what I managed to print in deep Soviet times about a mysterious remark. “On May 14, 1939, important changes were made to the finale of The Master and Margarita. ... Levi Matvey appeared and his conversation with Woland, where the words "He did not deserve light, he deserved peace" were pronounced, which are still a mystery to critics; however, its complete “solution” can hardly be found without going beyond the novel ... The novel “unfortunately is not over,” Woland tells the Master, pointing to Pilate. The novel is not over until the problem of guilt is resolved; the many years of spiritual work are not completed until this knot is untied, which terribly twisted not only the hero of the last novel. ... The Master enters the novel without a past, without a biography ... And, therefore, he knows better, the Master, and the one whose will Woland performs in an unconventional way in the novel, that the tired Master deserves - whether light, peace, and whether he said everything that he knew , saw and changed his mind. The Romantic Master is also in a white cloak with a bloody lining, but this lining is invisible to anyone except the author. "
Then no one knew the text of Bulgakov's first publication in the fall of 1919 (the article" Future Prospects "was discovered by G. Faiman in newspaper "Grozny", apparently in the early 80s; first published in the "Life of Mikhail Bulgakov" in 1988). It turned out that my reasoning about the fault of the generation quite accurately predicted Bulgakov's line of thought - starting with the catastrophes of 1917. He believed that his generation would have to “pay for the past” for a long time - “Pay for the madness of the March days, for the madness of the October days ...”
Bulgakov was, perhaps, the only one among contemporary writers who recognized the October coup and the fratricidal war unleashed after him, which claimed millions of lives, by national guilt.
That is why the Master "did not deserve light."