Saturday, November 26, 2011
It made me think about quality of life and what kind of life is best for one in order to be the most satisfied. Pierre seems to have been brought into the best version of himself in conditions that are far less luxurious than those he is used to. Tolstoy was critical of the elite class, yet it is hard to argue against the peace of mind that having money--now and in his time--brings. Yet Pierre is a great example of how sometimes less is more. The growth that can be had from having less is invaluable and reconfirms my belief that adversity makes you grow stronger.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Pierre keeps a dairy book 6 and in it he records three dreams. First, Pierre dreams of being attacked by dogs. Pierre interprets this dream and decides the dogs represent his passions. In his second dream Pierre sees Joseph Alexeevich, his benefactor, and the two talk about Pierre’s greatest vice and Pierre’s "conjugal duties.” The message of the dream is clearly what is discussed in the dream. In his third dream Pierre again sees Joseph Alexeevich and is then shown a book of drawings which Pierre later interprets as representing the Song of Songs.
In book eleven Pierre has another dream. Pierre imagines the he hears the sounds of war and is awakened in a fright. Pierre considers himself cowardly for this and thinks of the soldiers who fed him and how brave they are. Pierre then goes back to sleep. This time Pierre dreams of being in the Masonic lodge and seeing his benefactor and friends. Pierre refers to these people as “they”, which Pierre defines as being a people who have no fear. The message of this dream is Pierre is working on being fearless.
Pierre’s recent dream is similar to his previous dreams in that is reflects a moral goal that Pierre is aiming for. I think this recent dream show that Pierre is still struggling to find what he wants in life.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
As I was reading section 21 of Book 10, I noticed that when speaking with Pierre a Russian officer consistently addresses Napoleon as "him". Tolstoy makes a point of italicizing the word "his" when the officer explains to Pierre which land is claimed by the Russians and which land is claimed by the French, "That's his again [...] It was ours yesterday, but now it is his." (p.678) The Russian officer later speculates that, “He will probably pass round to the right of Moskva.” (p.679) Throughout the conversation the Russian officer refuses to speak the name "Napoleon". What is Tolstoy's trying to tell the reader through this sudden use of pronouns? Am I reading too much into the text? Perhaps, but my own interpretation of this change in language is that the use of "he" instead of Napoleon demonstrates Napoleon's growing power. The Russians seem almost scared to speak his name directly, which tells the audience that after the failed battle of Borodino the Russians are gradually beginning to recognize and perhaps even fear the strength of the French army. I couldn't help but think of The Harry Potter Series when first noticing this word choice. In Harry Potter all witches and wizards refuse to speak Lord Voldemort's name. Instead they refer to him as, "He who must not be named". It's a stretch- I know. But I believe that the omission of Napoleon’s name carries the same significance as the omission of Lord Voldemort's name. The Russians are acknowledging the fearful wrath of Napoleon.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
One of the things I found interesting about this trailer was its portrayal of Natasha as the main character in the sense that many of the other characters were described in relation to her. I also found it interesting that they left out Nicholas and Mary, who are arguably also main characters. Still, I think it is fun to see a portrayal of this novel, especially in the dance scenes.