Tuesday, September 9, 2014
What really struck me in Book 1 of War and Peace was the difference between the Bolkónski family and the Rostóv family. When I think of wealthy families and family structure I do not think of the loving and supportive family of the Rostóvs but much more of the splintered, money-driven family of the Bolkónskis. The Rostóv family more highly values supporting each other with love whereas the Bolkónski family places higher importance on education and intelligence. While Natasha is welcome to interrupt adult social conversation and have a conversation with her parents during her name-day celebration, Mary’s main contact with her father involves lectures about calculus and other intellectual material. Although different in many ways, both families are important and influential in the high society of 19th-century Russia. Why does Tolstoy develop two wealthy families with very different structures and values?