War and Peace short summary & analysis

War and Peace



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War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy


War and Peace Analysis

As a child of a wealthy family, Lev Nikolayeviç Tolstoy was born in 1828 in the town of Yasyana Polyana in Tula, Russia and is considered one of the best authors of the world in the history of literature. Resurrection, Youth, Anna Karanina, Hadji Murad, The Kingdom of God Is Within You are in his important works. Tolstoy, who died at the age of 82, although he was a son of a rich family, was influenced by the idea of Marxism and distributed all his goods to the peasants. He tried to live like them. Reflecting these ideas in his works, the author has taken his unforgettable place in Russian and world literature.

One of the unforgettable works, War and Peace, first published in 1869, is considered one of the most important works of world literature. The novel contains nearly five hundred characters. It is considered by literary critics that no more such a work can be written.

War and Peace Short Summary

The book is a historical document rather than a novel, starts with Tsar Alexander's coming to power in 1805. It continues with Napolyon’s attack of Russia. As you can see in the work, there are plenty of French conversations. The reason for this is that during the reign of Catherine II, Paris was seen as the center of civilization. So, French is raised to the level of the palace and French culture is the symbol of nobility. That is exactly what War and Peace describes, this era. While reading the novel, we see that French words and sentences in plenty of conversations. Although there are about five hundred characters in War and Peace, the lives of five noble families which their life struggles started in 1805 was mentioned especially. These families are Bezukovs, Bolkonskis, Rostovs, Kuragins and Drubetskoes. Bezukov are a fragmented family despite being rich and noble. The head of the family, Kiril Vladimirovic, is sick at the beginning of the novel and announces his illegal son Piyer as his successor. He leaves all his property to his son. This situation is problematic for many people. Because the assets are quite high. Piyer is a burly and brave man. He falls in love with a beautiful Elen and they get married. Then he doesn't like her demeanor and thinks that she is a crass woman. In the meantime, he gets in to Mason cult and starts living in his own world. However, in this organization he cannot find what he hopes for and becomes disappointed. After his wife's death, he falls in love with Natasha and marries her. The second family is an old and respected family of Balkonsser. Andreyic Bolkonski, the head of the family, served the army and promoted to general status. They have two children named, Andrey and Marya. Andrey is a brave soldier. She marries Princess Lisa. Unfortunately, his wife dies while giving birth. He likes Natasha, just like Piyer. However, Andreyic Balkonski opposes to this relationship and does not want to see her as his bride. Andrei is severely injured in battle and dies. The son that he left behind is now taking cared by his sister Maria Bolkonski. Maria is not pretty, as the matter of fact we can say ugly. She is a woman that tolerates a grumpy and old man that is his father, who insults and humiliates her, but she is a moderate and loyal character. She will not let him go until his death despite all her father's doings. Rostov are a noble family living in Moscow. Lately, they are living a difficult life. That is why they are trying to get their children married to the children of the wealthy people and regulate their financial situation. He has a daughter, Nikolas, and three daughters, Petya, Natasha and Vera. Nikolas is a very patriotic young man. He is handsome. They live a great love with his cousin, Sonya, but in the end they don't end like they want it. Because his family wants a rich bride, he left his love and does what his family wants instead. Then he falls in love with Balkonskis loyal daughter and marries her. Natasha is one of the most important characters in the book. She is foolhardy and happy. She gets easily effected and does not exactly know what she wants. She falls in love with Boris, Andrey, Anatol and Piyer. But in the end of the novel she marries Piyer. Another important member of this family is their cousin Sonya. She is a poor girl but proud. She is in love with her cousin. However, she knows that her family do not want her because she is poor. When the count of the family dies, the happenings get complicated and Sonya ends her relationship with a letter. Kuragin family is contradictive. They have 3 children. Their names are, Elen, Anatol and Hippolyte. Anatol is a very handsome man. He is pretty extravagant and womaniser. Elen is also known for her beauty just like her brother and all of the boys make her wanted. First she marries Piyer. But then she lost Piyer’s trust. Because she is grumpy and spoiled. The main reason that she lost his trust is that the wrong doing that she did to Piyer. She unfortunately lost her life to a disease. The last family is Drubetskos. They are a very noble family but in recent years they got poor. They only have two representatives left. The mother Anna Drubetskoy and her son Boris. The mother is fond of her son and want her son to be a soldier. Boris’ biggest goal is to be a soldier too. Near the end of the book, Andrey dies while he was a soldier. Natasha marries Piyer and Mari marries Nikola and the novel ends.

War and Peace, which is the indispensables of world literature, actually talks about the events and emotions that can happen to the people ever since humanity exists. Actually, it's a book that describes us and everyone finds a piece of it. Perhaps this is one of the most important factors that make it immortal. I mean, feelings like love, passion, ambition, jealousy. In short, the concepts that are not missing anywhere in humanity. Another success of the novel is that it is prepared meticulously. Since Tolstoy told about a time which he had not lived, he studied many documents, read numerous historical novels, and spoke to many witnesses. For this reason, although the characters are imaginary, many of them are adorned with examples of living people. That is why the book is a work, written with realism. Therefore, this unforgettable work is the ironstone of our library.


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