Friday, September 19, 2014
Philosophy in War and Peace
Tolstoy employs social aspects of human life in his writing which make his works extremely relatable to readers. Philosophy is generally a large part of human lives whether it is faced explicitly or implicitly. Nobody knows what the correct way to live is and characters such as Pierre, Andrew and Nicholas are young and in their prime,only beginning that journey. Whether success is medals and glory as viewed by Andrew or loyalty to the Tsar and being a valiant soldier as seen by Nicholas, it is all relative. As a social writer, Tolstoy expressed some of his views on life and self betterment through the plot and characters in the novel. It is largely known that he was intrigued by the complex and largely ambiguous concept that is life and death. It is no surprise then that as Andrew is in the dividing line between the two he gains some insight into what is important in life. Andrew is said to think about " the insignificance of greatness", " the unimportance of life" and " greater unimportance of death". It is interesting to view the contrast in the situation. The one who gave so much importance to glory now views greatness as trivial. Andrew now views his previous hero as " little insignificant Napoleon". It is a great lesson on the futility of pride and how what humans think is important really isn't and what is taken for granted is what truly matters. One would only wish to be as lucky as to get closer to figuring out the ambiguities and mysteries surrounding life. Tolstoy's writing therefore shows the interconnectedness of human beings, how our differences are nothing in comparison to our similarities.