Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tolstoy and Nationalism
Book seven features Nicholas and the wolf hunting. After the hunting, Nicholas and his siblings enjoy Russian style dinner and dance. I think Tolstoy included these scenes to shoe the Russian peasant lifestyle which was, for the most part, not represented in popular culture (novels, etc). Tolstoy's depiction of the peasant lifestyle as embodying true Russian spirit is reflective of Lenin's critique of Tolstoy. Lenin said that Tolstoy is valuable because he effectively showed the contradictions of the Russian working class. Tolstoy ' s bias toward 'Russian'characters is apparent throughout the novel, as people belonging to the Moscow circle is sown as superior to those in the St. Petersberg. His nationalistic view (calling Russian army as ours and presenting an attractive view of Russian culture) must have inspired the Russian readers who have been facing internal and external turmoils (I can't say the specifics because I don't know history at the time Tolstoy wrote War and Peace).