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A Literary Analysis of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace

A critical survey of the novel written by LeoTolstoy entitled “War and Peace” using both traditional and modern approaches in analyzing a literary piece---sociological, historical, literary and biographical.

language english
wordcount 11507 (cca 32 pages)
contextual quality N/A
language level N/A
price free
sources 27
Table of contents

Introduction 2
Tolstoy and His Time 3
About the Author 4
The Conception of the Work 7
The Novel and its Literary Stature 8
An Analysis of the Structure and Plot of the Work 10
Some Points of Consideration in Analyzing the Novel 19
References 23

Preview of the essay: A Literary Analysis of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace

About a hundred years ago, a Russian aristocrat, in the bliss of his early married life and the peace of his country estate, started to write what was to be the greatest war novel of all time. It turned out to be a titanic task, requiring many years, and the finished book ran over a thousand pages. What was originally intended as a story of family life, set against the background of the conflict between Russia and Napoleonic France, became a great historical novel, including a philosophy of history. This unique combination of fiction, history, and philosophy in the form of a novel was put together by a unique writer. Not since Goethe had such a many-sided figure appeared in Western literature. Soldier, hunter, magistrate, aristocrat, anarchist, educator, religious reformer, aesthetic critic-he commanded world-wide attention in his time by his very being and character as well as by his writings. In his own lifetime, his estate became a shrine to which people journeyed ...

... are celebrated? Tolstoy’s work certainly is “epic” in scope, dealing with the movements and struggles of people in the war history up to that time. But he who is hero or who are the heroes who perform epic deeds? Are Andrew and Pierre epic heroes? What do they do to decide the action? Are Napoleon and Alexander epic heroes? Can they be, in view of Tolstoy’s theory of history? Can anyone be an epic hero for Tolstoy’s theory of history? Is Kutúzov the closest thing to a hero in this book? If so, what kind of hero is he-a hero of watchful waiting and non-doing? Do we have a new have a new kind of epic here, an epic of events instead of one of decisive deeds? Is the Russian people-“this original, peculiar, and unique people”-the hero of War and Peace? Is it man, who suffers, endures, and arrives at submission and balance? Or is it the historical process or the ultimate power behind it?
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Humanistic Studies


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