Posted at 06.07.2017
You can’t consider yourself a truly educated person if you haven’t read Tolstoy’s enormous novel dubbed «War and Peace» yet. Undoubtedly, that’s one of the greatest historical masterpieces ever created by human mind. The novel is replete with accurate historical facts and influential personalities, including Speranski, Napoleon, Tsar Alexander I as well as other celebrities of that glorious epoch. In this war and peace essay we’ll consider crucial questions on the subject. For instance, many people still don’t know why the writer decided to merge true facts and fiction in this novel. Let’s find an answer.
Perhaps, a banal answer would be the fact that the vast majority of historical novels merge fiction and facts on a regular basis, at least it follows from the names «novel» and «historical». An alternative answer is the author’s willingness to go beyond a typical historical work. The matter is that Tolstoy was assured that so-called professional historians always fail to show us the whole truth about a certain historical period or event. They can’t tell us exactly what really happened on the battlefield. Anything told by them is normally distorted by their foolish prejudices, steady interpretations, pure fantasies and other harmful stuff. From Tolstoy’s point of view a well-organized fictional work will much better cope with the tough job of recording our history. Do you agree with this approach to history recording? Give an honest answer in your war and peace essay.
Furthermore, fiction boasts the power of reconstructing the mundane figures of the historical process. That’s what historians often overlook, while exactly small individuals keep the historical process running. They definitely deserve more attention. The author’s original philosophy of history points out that there aren’t any great men in our history and only nobodies just like Platon Karataev really matter. History books often overlook lowly figures. That’s so great that novelists are capable of conjuring them up before our eyes, thus restoring the rightful importance in the whole scheme of things.
Early in this novel, the author takes great care when it comes to depicting two couples of childhood sweethearts: Natasha and Boris and Nicholas and Sonya. As these love stories in the novel are superior, we normally expect the given relationships to develop over time and end up with marriages. Nevertheless, that didn’t happen. It feels like the author set up these two couples with the only purpose to drive them apart in the end. Many war and peace essays try to answer this question. Let’s have a try.
It feels like the author really appreciates courtship and love and as we see in War and Peace of all available war and peace essay topics that’s one of the most popular and important ones. Indeed, in the novel romantic relationships aren’t less significant than diplomacy and battles. Perhaps, the only reason to pay special attention to this theme was to show how character’s choices of their mates actually change over time as their lives unfold and personalities develop.
We’ve come up to another crucial nuance of our narration. Sure, many essays on war and peace pay special attention to the war theme and it’s no wonder about this as the novels is stuffed with magnificent battle scenes. Of course, Tolstoy knew for sure that Napoleon’s invasion to Russia would be extremely interesting for Russian readers. In spite of the fact War and Peace deals with a great Russian victory, the novels isn’t patriotic enough from our point of view. Really, sometimes the author even tries to downplay the whole patriotic dimension of the story. Why does he do it?
Russia had been under a strong influence of French culture for a long time. As we know, the vast majority of Russian noblemen spoke only French and their mother tongue – Russian was their weak point. It’s hard to believe, but that was true. Look at Prince Golitsyn, for instance. We can hardly imagine him speaking Russian all the time. Diplomatically, economically and culturally France seemed to have been dominating in the eyes of Russia at that time. In the 1860s when Tolstoy wrote this novel the topic was a subject of fierce debate between the two opposing groups of Russian intellectual society. The Westernizers wanted Russia to keep looking for European guidance in all spheres of life, while the Slavophiles were assured that Russia shouldn’t copy the civilized model of Western countries as this big country had its own unique path.
In Tolstoy’s novel the war between Russian and Europe embodies a dramatic cultural conflict too. In War and Peace the great Russian victory stands for a hope for Russian cultural independence. That’s why Tolstoy draws out attention to Platon Karataev’s strong moral voice – that’s an embodiment of Russian folk wisdom.
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