Friday, November 21, 2014

The Death of Prince Andrew Bolkónski.

It is no secret that Prince Andrew Bolkónski is my favorite character in the novel and so his death definitely saddens me but I am very happy and impressed by the way Tolstoy depicts the event as Andrew in my opinion is given the most dignified sendoff so far in the novel, and he is well deserving of one. As true as ever to Andrew's nature, he dies contemplating the meaning of life and death and putting things in perspective for himself. To be honest, that is what I admire the most about him. Andrew is surrounded by those who love him and these people bond over their love and grief for him. The fact that Natasha is a source of comfort for Princess Mary and little Nicholas I find very heartwarming and as a positive reflection on Natasha's character, showing her to be genuine and caring. Princess Mary finds Natasha a "comrade in grief" and begins to "cry on her shoulder" when they first see each other. There is a beautiful but sorrowful moment when little Nicholas stays strong when he sees his father but after he leaves the room " leaning against her (Natasha) he began to cry." Through Prince Andrew's death, Princess Mary and Natasha get to see the "consciousness of the simple and solemn mystery of death." As Prince Andrew is in the dividing line between life and death for the final time,  he sees "death as an awakening" and the unknown is "lifted from his spiritual vision." Prince Andrew as a man always seeking truth and answers to life's hardest questions I feel can now rest with all the answers.  Prince Andrew gets to understand the mysteries of life as his life is ending and realizes that love removes the "dreadful barrier" between life and death. He is rewarded by Tolstoy for his virtues.

As a parting note, Prince Andrew Bolkónski's character has been an enjoyable one for me to follow and watch grow and has been a learning experience as I see traits portrayed by Tolstoy in him that I greatly admire and find amiable. The genuine, honest and responsible thinker plays a great part in the novel as being the one to bring calamity to the plot when all the other characters are in mayhem. Prince Andrew's practicality and rationale is not something to be disliked, it does not make him bland and boring, it is Tolstoy portraying a human being who seeks self-betterment and luckily for him always finds it.

5 comments:

  1. I agree that Andrew died in a manner that fitted his character. The timing of his death is also fitting for him. He died in the midst of war--an activity he found purpose in. Perhaps peace just doesn't suit him; after all he is defined by his tumultuous mental life. He also died in the care of Natasha, so although he constantly lost love, eventually he could go out in peace.

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  2. Andrew is great, he could do no wrong in my eyes. That tumultuous mental activity you mentioned is what makes him unique and interesting. He lacked peace because of his contemplative behavior but it was who is he was and it is better to seek truth and be disturbed rather than not try to find it at all :-)

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  3. I'm kind of happy he died in a way. Not because I didn't like him though! Just because I think that he could not possibly have been happier. He might have gotten bored of Natasha later on or been disillusioned with life again. Instead, he died in bliss, surrounded by his loved ones, which seems like the way to go.

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  4. A dignified character is rewarded with a dignified death!

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  5. Do you think that Andrew always did find self-betterment? Do you think he evolved as much as he could as a character before his death? Or, had he lived, could he still have improved himself?

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