Young Tolstoy's View of the World in His Short Story <Notes by Gentry D. Nekhliudov>
Young Tolstoy, when he was an already well-known writer, accomplished his first overseas travel in 1857, which gave him imaginable opportunities to compare his country's social strata with others such as serfdom, monarchical Russia and industrial and capital Europe. The present story <From the Notes of Prince D. Nekhljudov. Lucern> is, indeed, the work which is influenced by those experiences by young Tolstoy during his first journey into Europe. Written in the form of booklet-like-small-piece, rather than an artistic work, the text presents the writer's severe criticism on the world of nature and civilization.
Close to the nature itself, narod are those common people for Tolstoy, and they represent love, while the nature creates a necessity to love, hope and bottomless happiness of life. On the contrary, the civilized or civilization itself is considered artificial, willy, reasonal, and erotic congruity among people. For the writer, the most unsafe and ugly, seamy side of the westernized society is a lack of necessity to unify people to people. Though in its early embryonic stage, young Tolstoy's worldview is reflected in this work, especially his sharp tongue on the western people and their society is also detected when the write imposes his message under the mask of a gypsy singer. In addition, the narrator who seems an obvious Tolstoy's mouthpiece delivers his own ideas and impression on the western world, history, art, and literature. For this very reason, the present work contains numerous signs from which the reader is able to interpret, understand,and figure out what young Tolstoy imposes for his work.