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“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy Essay

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Updated: Sep 30th, 2021

Research Topics

Looking for the interesting topics for the evaluative essay, one may suggest the list of the literary areas one is interested in:

  • The World Literature’s masterpieces of the nineteenth – twentieth century (simply saying classics);
  • The Native American legends and sagas and their contribution to the modern studies of the Native American’s culture and traditions;
  • The American Literature of the twentieth century and the reflection of the daily life of the common Americans;
  • The English literary thought of the medieval period and its impact on the studies of the Anglo – Saxon society’s development;
  • The Australian native people’s folk tales, as the medium between the civilized parts of the country and its endangered territories;
  • Japanese white verses and their ulterior wisdom

Narrowing the Topic

After regarding all of the above provided ideas for the essay, concerning the various literary areas, it is possible for one to focus one’s attention on the topic of the World Literature’s masterpieces of the nineteenth – twentieth century. Those works are generally called literary classics. With the view to narrow this topic, one may reveal one’s ideas as follows:

  • English literary classics (novelists: Lewis Carroll; Anne, Charlotte and Emily Bronte; Charles Dickens, Jack London, Mark Twain);
  • Russian literary classics (prose writers: Mikhail Bulgakov, Mikhail Sholokhov, Maxim Gorky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Vladimir Nabokov; novelists: Ivan Bunin, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nikolai Gogol; poets: Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Boris Pasternak, Vladimir Mayakovsky);
  • Italian literary classics (novelists: Giorgio Bassani, Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Luigi Pirandello, Italo Calvino, and Giovanni Guareschi);
  • French literary classics (novelists: Yann – Ber Kalloc’h, Onore De Balzac, Anjela Duval and Alexander Dumas);
  • German literary classics (novelists: Friedrich Von Schiller; Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)

Selecting the most interesting to one idea

After picking up the most interesting idea from the above provided list, one may regard the topic of the Russian literary classics more deeply by the periods:

  • Golden Era – Romanticism (Pushkin,Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy and Krylov);
  • Silver Age (Blok, Esenin, Akhmatova, Mayakovsky, Bunin, Kuprin);
  • Soviet era (Platonov, Gorky, Sholokhov, Aleksey Tolstoy, Tvardovsky, Ilf and Petrov, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Bunin, Solzhenitsyn)

Picking up the literary period for the discussion

One is really interested in the Colden Era of the Russian literary classics; therefore, it would be relevant to discuss this topic in details:

Poets: Zhukovsky, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Afanasij Fet, Evgeny Baratynsky, Nikolai Nekrasov, Konstantin Batyushkov, Fyodor Tyutchev, Aleksey Tolstoy;

Prose writers: Goncharov, Nikolai Gogol, Leskov, Saltykov – Shchedrin, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky;

Fablulist: Ivan Krylov;

Nnon – fiction writers: Herzen and Belinsky;

Playwrights: Ostrovsky, Griboedov, Kozma Prutkov.

Focusing on the particular topic

After the full and detailed research has been carried out, it is possible for one to bring up the topic of the given paper’s discussion. Thus, it might be suggested by one to discuss, analyze and evaluate the novel “War and Peace” (1863) by Leo Tolstoy.

Final Essay: the Evaluative Analysis of the “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

The novel “War and Peace”, the masterpiece, written by the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, is a fictional story based on the description of Russian society’s life during the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The novel covers the grand and the important subjects represented at its title – the subjects of the war and the peace, and that is why, although it tells the reader about the events of that period, it is still relevant to modern life, as those two major subjects still worry billions of reasonable people.

The work also discusses the themes of life and death; of the youth, age, and marriage; of the friendship and love; of the loyalty, dignity, and honor. Significantly, the book depicts the lives of the historical characters as well as the fictional ones. Those characters are not only Russians but also French, German, and other nationalities; most of them are introduced in the first volume of the book.

Although it might seem that there are too many characters in the novel but it focuses only on the life and the destiny of somewhere five characters, such an impression is wrong, as the book characters are profoundly linked with one another, and affect each other destinies all of a sudden. “War and Peace” is describing the life paths and interactions between such famous families and people as the counts Bezukhovs and Rostovs, the princes Bolkonskys, field marshal Kutuzov, and others. The novel describes the courage and the bravery not only of noble officers but also of the ordinary peasants (just remember how bravery prince Andrey and ordinary cannon – man fought against the French soldiers).

The given book describes the real friendship and disinterestedness between prince Andrey Bolkonsky and counts Pier Bezukhovs. Leo Tolstoy depicts this in the various episodes of the story; for example, when Pier came to Moscow from Paris everybody knew that he was the illegitimate child, and did not want to make friendship with him because of the gossips, but Andrey did not care about that because he liked Pier’s personal qualities and always supported him.

The novel also tells the reader about the complexities of love on the examples of Pier Bezukhov and his wife Helen (previously the theatre actress), Andrey Bolkonsky, and his young bride Natasha Rostova. Leo Tolstoy masterly described the ruff turns of fate like in the case of Anatol Kuragin’s not fair plans to Natasha and Helen’s lovers.

It is interesting to note that the author of the book Leo Tolstoy mixes French and Russian languages in his book, as the former one was very popular among that time Russian elite (there was an episode in the book, where the Russian noble had to higher the teacher to learn the Russian language). One may propose that the French language is used in the novel to express some gossips and insincere feelings, while the Russian language is a language of the soul of the character.

The main grand topics of the war and the peace discussed in the novel of the same name as well as the issues of the political power and thirst of this power (as in the case with Napoleon) are still relevant in modern life.

Works Cited

Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. New York: Penguin Classics, 2007.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy." September 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/war-and-peace-by-leo-tolstoy/.


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