Monday, September 19, 2011
Love and Be Loved
On page 288 Tolstoy describes the house of the Rostov's as saying "Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is one thing we are interested in here," and I believe that this is Tolstoy's central message, at least up to the end of Book Four. Throughout this part of the book the only truly happy people are those who can love and be loved such as the Rostov's who radiate this loving and caring feeling. No where in the novel through book 4 is love shown as it is at the house of Rostov. With the exception of Vera they love and are loved by each other through these times of war and turmoil and prove to be one of though only places where there is some peace during this time. This feeling they radiate is alluring to others as those who spend time with them become infatuated with the family. Both Denisov and Dolokhov who stay at the house of the Rostov's become enamored with the family, and more specifically both of the daughters. They want to join this family and always be part of this exuberant, carefree lifestyle where this actually some happiness. "Believe me, I so adore your daughter and all your family that I would give my life twice over..."(301) says Denisov to the countess. Despite the fact that the Rostov's do have problems such as Nicholas' debt to Dolokhov, and the fact that the chance of their happiness lasting through the novel is very unlikely, I think that Tolstoy's true message is to "love and be loved" and to "seize the moments of happiness" as the Rostov's do.