free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

LITERARY/ HISTORICAL INFORMATION

Leo Tolstoy evolved the concept of writing War and Peace in 1860, though he started writing it in 1863 and finished it only in 1869. At first, he had desired to write a novel based on the story of a revolutionary. He planned to open the novel with the return of the Decembrist, Pyotor Bezukhov and his wife, Natasha from their exile to Moscow. However, he altered the scheme of the novel due to change in circumstances.


In the school at Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy often related to his students, episodes from the war of 1812 and Napoleonís invasion of Moscow. He observed the students absorbing his tale with interest. This gave him the idea for the story of War and Peace. He had planned to start the novel in 1811 but later, took it back to 1805. This way he could develop the narrative leading to the event of 1812 and keep the interest of his readers alive. He shaped the characters of the novel "not only on a personal plane but in relation to the conflict of the times." First, he entitled the novel as Three Periods, then changed it to Allís Well That Ends Well and finally, gave it the title of War and Peace.

Though a war novel, the book is autobiographical to a large extent. Tolstoy had participated in the Crimean war and hence, he had witnessed the battle scene and the suffering caused by it. This experience he transferred it into his novel and made it realistic. The theme of marital harmony and bliss is also based on his early-married life in Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy had started writing the novel soon after his marriage. That happy stage of his life he translates it into the novel. Many of the characters in the novel are lifted out his life. Tolstoy was an aristocrat like Prince Andrei but later, under went a change of heart. He also reflects his personality in the character of Pierre. Nikolai Rostov was shaped out his fatherís presence. Tushin resembled Tolstoyís brother, Nikolai, though the former was not an aristocrat. The charming Sonya was a caricature of his dear aunt and Natasha resembled both his wife and sister-in-law.

Tolstoy refrained from calling War and Peace either as a novel or an autobiography. In fact, he hated to categorize it. In Some Words about War and Peace, he expresses his ideas thus: "What is War and Peace? It is not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle. Such an announcement of disregard for conventional form in art might seem presumptuous were it premeditated, and were there not precedents for it. But the history of Russian literature since the time of Pushkin not merely affords many examples of such deviation from European forms, but does not offer a single example of the contrary." However, four years after the completion of the novel, Tolstoy mentions it as his first novel. Whatever the book be, it is a masterpiece that mirrors the early nineteenth century Russian society and its reaction to the invasion of Russia by Napoleon.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:53:45 AM