War and Peace

761 Words4 Pages
The Russian epic War and Peace hails as one of the most highly acclaimed novels ever composed. Written by Leo Tolstoy and first published in 1869, the novel presents itself as a panorama of Russian society during the Napoleonic Wars. Throughout the work, Tolstoy illustrates the divide between the reality of war and the naïve and false perceptions of battle perceived by those who know only peace. War and Peace offers a vast depiction of individual struggles against immorality and social conflict. Lack of interest in the common good and the selfish detachment of Russian aristocracy from the toils of reality act as prominent elements in the story. The structure of the novel entails a shifting focus between different characters, namely Countess Natasha Rostova, Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, and Pierre Bezukhov. The three major characters each experience an internal transformation in response to the war. In the story, the encroaching conflict causes the characters to evaluate their previous ideals, morality, and affectations. The inclusion of Tolstoy’s somewhat controversial reflections on the history in the work contrast with the traditional methods used by historians. However, the novel proved widely popular upon its release to the public. War and Peace addresses the artificiality and separation of Russian high society, even in the wake of destruction, as a social dilemma and demonstrates the impact of war upon humanity.
War and Peace illustrates the conflict between the reality of war and the pretense of peace postured in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars and depicts a social dilemma of society’s prioritization of personal interests above the concerns of others. Throughout the novel, Tolstoy stresses the inauthenticity and selfishness ...

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...apoleon’s approaching army. After Natasha discovers the truth of Anatole’s intentions and his marriage to another woman, Natasha enters a deep depression and endures the absurd and expensive ministrations of many doctors. Natasha illustrates the social dilemma presented in the work as she begins to adopt the same selfish mindset of her peers without consideration to how it will affect those around her, specifically Andrey. After Napoleon’s invasion of Moscow and Prince Andrey’s death, Natasha realizes the triviality her previous behavior and experiences a self-transformation. Throughout the remainder of the novel, Natasha presents herself as mature and reserved character, contrasting greatly to Tolstoy’s depiction of her in earlier passages. Pierre also a faces a similar transformation and through the ongoing struggles of the war, overcomes his own moral dilemma.
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