Monday, October 7, 2013

Mother-Daughter Love

Some of my most treasured moments in War and Peace are when Natasha and the Countess have their mother-daughter conversations. I think it is such a great device to further humanize the aristocratic Rostovs and portray the love within their family. The fact that Natasha feels comfortable climbing into bed with her mother, and talking about boys, is unusual, but charming to me. I don't feel like this is a common thread to include in most mid-19th century novels, but the love in this relationship is a welcome change to the traditions of those novels.

I think that these moments are what helps characterize Tolstoy's writing style and make this work so timeless, no matter the translation. I'm hoping that, despite the fact that Natasha is preparing to marry and go away from her mother, these talks will continue, as they help me in placing milestones within Natasha's life. Also, I don't think she's quite ready to totally part with her mother and be a mature adult quite yet. I look forward to future loving interactions between Natasha and her mother.


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  2. Awe. I enjoyed reading you post Ashleigh!
    I also adore Natasha's relationship with her mom. It makes her so lovable. It also reminds me of my childish moments with my mom (not that I talk to her about marrying a prince) but those mother-daughter moments are definitely precious!
    I am quite excited to see Natasha transition to a woman and I hope her spontaneous/affectionate touch continue to mold other characters in positive ways.

  3. Love your post, Ashleigh! I didn't feel so strong about the mother-daughter love until you pointed it out. Probably because my mom and me do this all the time, (of course not about boys), and I grow used to it. Personally I think this conversation will stop in sometime of Natasha's life, maybe after she gets married or until she really grows up. Natasha will stop consulting her mother for life choices, and instead talk with her husband or have her own idea. But the mother-daughter relationship is not gonna change. That's one of the most touching emotional story line in War and Peace.

    1. I certainly hope that if the conversations cease to exist, that there will be some other way that Tolstoy portrays their relationship, because I'm going to miss them when they're gone!

  4. Really love your post, Ashleigh. It reminds all girls’ memory of their talk with mums (including me). When reading the talk between Natasha and countess, I again respect our master Tolstoy. How can he write a seemingly everyday detail in such a vivid way, how can he catch the girl’s psychological change in the talk, how can he present us a so lovely Natasha. I do believe Natasha will grow up and become more mature, but I hope Tolstoy will keep such lovable detail and don’t let Natasha change so quickly.