Sunday, October 30, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Natasha, as an elite without wealth, must make sure her husband is moneyed because she does not have wealth to inherit from her family. Borís faces the same constriction with his prospective matches. Although Natasha and Borís love each other they cannot overcome the fact that if they married they would suffer financially; this is their deal breaker. Pierre, on the other hand, is largely undesirable until he inherits his wealth. Then, he has opportunity to construct his family to include the most beautiful and desirable woman in Russia—Hélène—due to her desire of wealth, similarly to Natasha or Borís. But because of this importance of the superficial, Pierre’s marriage is cold and unhappy.
Overall, families in the Russian aristocracy formed like business relationships; partners were more desirable when they came with wealth. The already wealthy sought partners who were, instead of having money, the most charming or beautiful. Aristocratic families were largely formed because of a desire for money, but the superficiality of this desire resulted in doomed relationships for many.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
I found this and I thought it was a really good help to understand where everything is going on and how the war moves around Europe. I hope it will be useful to you too:).
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Well, on the one hand, Tolstoy's life was not typical. His parents died when he was young and he was brought up by his relatives. Still, according to some sources, there are two possible events which can be considered reasons for his nearly contemptuous view about society. Tolstoy was always concerned with people's needs, so,when encountering a crowd of homeless people in a Moscow market, he decided he wanted to help them. He considered that simply giving each a small amount of money would not help, so he went up to his friends from the upper classes of society and told them about the situation. The vast majority refused to donate any sum for this truly noble cause, thus denying their "noblemen" statute. The other event that might have influenced Tolstoy to view society and the state as artificial happened during one of his visits to France, when he witnessed a public execution in Paris..
However, as an intellectual man, a "thinker", just like Pierre and Andrew, his reasons for despising society might also be connected to the trivial concerns and topics of discussion of the people surrounding him.
Leo Tolstoy believed that when writing realism is the essential ingredient for that piece of writing to be good. So, when he describes the balls, the war scenes and when he criticizes the society with such harshness, he is doing his best to replicate the atmosphere of the era he was living in. But what if he is a bit biased? What if the rank he had and was so uncomfortable with made him be harsher then he should have been with some of the characters and the events described?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Marriage is a major theme in War and Peace. I have been curious about how Leo Tolstoy’s own experiences with marriage and his views on marriage can be seen in War and Peace.
On September 23, 1862 Leo Tolstoy married Sofya Bers. Leo was 34 and Sofya was only 18. Tolstoy started writing War and Peace the next year in 1863 and finished it in 1869. As we learned in class Tolstoy died in a train station attempting to leave his wife, but how was this marriage in its early years when Tolstoy was writing War and Peace and does this show in the novel?
When Leo Tolstoy died he had been married for 48 years. Both Sofya and Leo kept diaries throughout their lives. It is from these diaries that biographers have been able to learn about the life of the Tolsotys’ and their marriage. The early years of their marriage were not without problems but still they were relatively happy. While Leo wrote War and Peace Sofya copied and edited Leo’s drafts. As time progressed their marriage became more and more strained until Leo finally decided to run away.
In War and Peace so far a majority of marriages in the book so far have been unhappy or superficial. I think this reflects feelings Tolstoy was already starting to feel in his own marriage.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Nicholas' life has recently centered around his time at war, and the hunting puts him at ease because it reminds him of it, "the cries of the dogs whose notes were familiar to him" (441). But the wolf, whom Nicholas was hunting after, symbolizes Nicholas' future, which always runs from him. The wolf "ran without hurry, evidently feeling sure that no one saw her" with "easy yet resolute hope" (442). Nicholas isn't in complete control of his life; actually, he prefers it mundane and less dramatic, which is specifically why he prefers to be at the battlefields.
Nicholas couldn't even take care of his own problems, because it was Daniel who took down the wolf but it was still "the most happiest moment of [Nicholas'] life" (443). The taking down of the wolf alludes to Nicholas' coming into power over the family's wealth. There will be a struggle over the Old Count Rostov but due to some outside help, the wealth will be under his control, but only with the "old wolf, alive, [and gaged] on a shying snorting horse" (444).
this is Natasha's Dance by Chris de Burgh.
This isn't very relevant to War and Peace, but Enjoy!