Thursday, December 12, 2013

Count Rostov's Social Media

I have to admit, I'm not usually an active participant in social media. In War and Peace, I don't think that Count Rostov was really an active social participant either. True, many socialites gathered at the parties of Count Rostov, and a lot happened at Count Rostov's parties that would be facebook-worthy, but the characteristics that defined the Count were not what he shared, but what he hid from others. Count Rostov was a rather one-dimensional character in War and Peace. He had one goal, and that goal was for everyone that surrounded him to enjoy themselves. We see at Rostov's death that he paid a hefty price for the merriment of his Russian socialite friends, a price that he couldn't afford. Although it was known that Rostov wasn't good with money, nobody knew how far into debt he had plunged. That is why I didn't bring up Rostov's money troubles directly through his facebook profile. Rather, I made more subliminal hints at his monetary issues, such as adding Finance for Dummies to his favorite books list. On his death bed, Count Rostov confesses his mismanagement of the family's finances, and begs for forgiveness. I decided to portray this emotional confession with a more modern phrase in Ilya's final facebook status, "YOLO." When you think about it, Count Rostov's decisions about finance and the rest of his life could be explained by the motto usually associated with behavior that doesn't take consequences into consideration. However, I did conclude the status with an informal apology to Rostov's son Nicholas. I believe that Rostov did genuinely feel guilty for digging his family into a hole, but he wanted desperately to maintain the joy that the parties that he hosted created. Rostov valued and loved his family very much, but when push came to shove and there was a real crisis, it made him uncomfortable. For example,during Natasha's struggle with her engagement during the time that the family spent in Moscow, Marya Dimitrievna played a much bigger role in setting Natasha straight than her father did. As a character, Rostov did his best to act like adversity didn't exist and live life in constant pursuit of merriment. This approach didn't work out too well in the life of the Rostovs, which certainly wasn't adversity free. Count Rostov's facebook reflected the struggle between the pursuit of merriment and the issues that he denies.

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