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War in Leo Tolstoy’s Literature and War and Peace

kimsungil 1

1청주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Cyclical stories on Caucasus and Sebastopol Sketches, including War andPeace, have generally been said as masterpieces dealing with the theme of warin Leo Tolstoy’s literature. Among them, it is no doubt that War and Peace isabsolutely the best one describing the grand panorama of people’s lives and waritself. The plot of this novel consists of the so-called Napoleonic War of 1812and of diverse lives both from the upper class and lower class, more essentiallyit dramatically presents how these pictures made all literary participantsexperienced their destiny and lives. Throughout these texts, war, including ofits cause and effects and participants, re-considers and re-evaluates all of eachfeatures. The most important themes in War and Peace is war itself as the novel’s titlesays. Rather than a just backdrop to the novel, the war plays a significant rolein providing the reader with various realistic, philosophic, moral andexistentialist perspectives. Moreover, War and Peace for the writer showscontradictory two views about war; he severally criticizes the Napoleonic warof 1812 in the sense that it violets people’s reason and nature. At the same time,however, Tolstoy considers that the war as liberation is justified and necessaryfor guarding people’s nation, otechestvo in Russian. What the writer attempts to show from this novel, however, goes beyond thesimple descriptions which were done above. Leo Tolstoy successfully offers andwhat he tries to show in the long run is that how people go through all kindsof sufferings and hardship and their spiritual resurrection, thereby leading to thevital force making history. For the writer, the essential force that makes historyand people’s lives is not heroic military leader like Napoleon, but those commonpeople. And the novel serves a wonderful prelude expecting the Decembristrevolt in 1825, because all of the vital and active streams that Tolstoyemphasizes turn out true in Russian history.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.