A group of peasants comes to see Leo Tolstoy and his wife, the Countess, to request some land. Tolstoy must explain to them that it is his wife who has authority over their land-holdings, and she will not help them. Stung by their negative reaction to him, Tolstoy becomes increasingly preoccupied with the problems of the poor. This leads to a number of conflicts with his wife, and then to a deep despondency, as the noted writer continues vainly to search for answers to the sufferings he sees around him.
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