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Tolstoy's Trifecta: Dive into the Drama, Passion, and Power of His Trilogy!

From Anna Karenina to War and Peace: Tolstoy's Trilogy Holds the Key to Literary Brilliance!

By Muhiuddin AlamPublished 10 months ago 16 min read
Tolstoy's Trifecta: Dive into the Drama, Passion, and Power of His Trilogy!
Photo by Tanner Spaw on Unsplash

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), whose full name is Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, is the greatest Russian writer of the second half of the nineteenth century and one of the world's literary giants.

Leo Tolstoy was born into a noble family. He lost his mother at the age of 1 and a half and his father at the age of 10. He was raised by relatives at home.

In 1844, he was admitted to the Department of Oriental Languages of Kazan University, studying Turkish and Arabic, but failed the mid-term exam, and transferred to the law department in the second year.

He didn't concentrate on his studies and was obsessed with social life. At the same time, he had a strong interest in philosophy, especially moral philosophy. He loved Rousseau's theory and his personality, and read literature extensively.

In April 1847, a school was established for the children of farmers. In November, he served nominally in the Administrative Bureau of Tula Province and was promoted to the fourteenth-grade civil servant in December of the following year.

In 1851 Tolstoy and his elder brother went to the Caucasus to serve as soldiers. In 1852 he participated in a battle, showed bravery, and published the novel " Childhood ".

In 1853 Tolstoy read Turgenev's " Hunter's Notebook " and admired it very much. In 1854, Tolstoy was transferred to the Danube Front, participated in the Siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War, and wrote " Boys ", "Youth" and "Sevastopol Tales".

In November 1855 Tolstoy left the army and returned to St. Petersburg, where he rejoined the entertainment industry, drinking and gambling. The extreme personality led to his 17-year break with Turgenev.

Tolstoy's worldview is full of contradictions. On the one hand, he is full of hatred and contempt for the decadent tsarist autocratic system, and he condemns and exposes it with great courage; He Reconciles class conflicts through moral and religious influence.

Tolstoy's life was a life of struggling to find a way out of Russia. His masterpieces "War and Peace", "Anna Karenina" and "Resurrection" are Tolstoy's three great works, which deeply exposed the intricate and complex nature of Russia. It is an immortal work in the history of Russian literature.

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"War and Peace"

Work background

"War and Peace" made a comprehensive reflection on the political, military, and social life of Russia in the early 19th century. In terms of politics and military affairs, Tolstoy put focus of his performance on the Russian Patriotic War in 1812.

In expressing social life, Tolstoy focuses on describing the changes and explorations of the young members of the four major families.

The serfdom reform in 1861 marked the disintegration of the Russian serfdom society and its rapid march towards the capitalism of Western civilization. After searching up and down from the 1950s to the early 1960s, Tolstoy finally released "War and Peace".

Brief Introduction

"War and Peace" is the representative work of Russian writer Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy. With extremely concise words and excellent and amazing psychological analysis, the text vividly and vividly depicts the most exciting group of characters in the history of Russian literature.

The whole work is grand in conception and vigorous in momentum, powerfully showing the most magnificent page in Russian history - the Great Patriotic War in 1812, and showing the magnificent picture of social life in Russia before and after the war.

The author describes the two kinds of life and two clues of "war" and "peace" interspersedly, forming an encyclopedia-style magnificent epic.

"War and Peace" is an immortal masterpiece in the history of world literature, with four volumes in total. The writer centers on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, describes the heroic scenes of the Russian people rising up against the invaders, and also explores the historical fate of the aristocracy.

The novel revolves around the lives of the four noble families including Bolkonsky, and uses the fate of the main members of the four families as the clue throughout the plot, depicting the social customs of Russia and showing a broad picture of life.

In July 1805, Napoleon led his troops to conquer Europe, and a fierce war was brewing between France and Russia. However, people in the upper class of Petersburg still lived a quiet and leisurely life. The dignitaries and dignitaries gathered at the family banquet hosted by the Queen's lady-in-waiting and favorite, Anna Pavlovna.

There was Prince Vasili, a high-ranking official of the court, and his beautiful but misbehaving daughter Merlin, and Pierre, a tall and strong young man with spectacles, a short haircut, and light-colored fashionable shorts. and a brown tuxedo. Pierre was the illegitimate son of Bezhukhov, a famous nobleman in Moscow. He studied abroad since he was a child.

In 1805, at the age of 20, he returned to the capital to seek a job after finishing his studies. As soon as he entered the banquet hall, he was very interested in people talking about Napoleon's conquest of Europe.

Here, he happily met a handsome and resolute young man Andrei, the eldest son of Bolkonsky, the retired commander-in-chief of Emperor Paul, and the two quickly became good friends.

The heroine Natasha is a noble lady, young and beautiful, innocent and lively, and good at singing and dancing. The elder brother Nikolai was a handsome hussar officer. And Pierre, a friend of Natasha's family, is also an aristocrat. He has just returned from studying in France and has no plans for the future. He often goes to social places and spends time at the gambling table.

Andrei was summoned by General Kutuzov to serve as his herald, and he will go abroad to fight against Napoleon's army in Europe. He expects to bring glory and glory to himself through this war.

Pierre's best friend, Prince Andrew, an officer under Kutuzov, came to Natasha's house on business, and he fell in love with Natasha at first sight. Both Natasha's parents agreed with their marriage, but Andre's father firmly opposed it. He insisted on waiting a year before considering it.

During the year of waiting, Natasha got acquainted with Helen's elder brother Anatoly. She couldn't stand Anatole's seduction and planned to elope with him, and sent a letter to Andre requesting the dissolution of the engagement. Although the elopement attempt failed, it was a heavy blow to Andre.

In the Russo-French War, both sides suffered heavy casualties. Andrey was seriously wounded at the famous Battle of Borodino (aka Moskva) and died shortly thereafter. Pierre's wife Helen also died in Petersburg.

In June 1807, Russia and France made peace, and a peaceful life began.

In the spring of 1809, Andrei Bolkonsky went to Count Rostov on a matter of the noble society. At the Earl's house, he was deeply attracted by Natasha, a young lady full of vitality.

However, due to the strong opposition of the old Duke of Bald Mountain, they had to agree with each other for a one-year buffer period, and then Andrei Bolkonsky went abroad.

However, the young Natasha couldn't bear the loneliness, and couldn't stand the temptation of Pierre's wife Ellen's brother Anatole, so she agreed to elope without authorization. invalid.

In 1812, Russia and France fought again, and Andrei Bolkonsky was seriously injured in the Battle of Dobkino, while the Russian army retreated steadily, seeing that Moscow was about to fall into the hands of the enemy.

The Rostov family reassigned the carriage that was originally used to carry the family property to transport the wounded soldiers so that Natasha could find Andrei Bolkonsky who was about to die among the wounded soldiers.

She apologized to him and took care of him enthusiastically, but all was in vain, and Andrei Bolkonsky still couldn't escape the god of death and died.

Pierre disguised himself as a farmer and wanted to assassinate Napoleon, but was arrested by the French army and became a prisoner. His wife, Ellen, continued her licentious behavior during the war and finally died of taking abortion pills by mistake.

After several battles, Russia finally won. Pierre met Natasha in Moscow by chance, and they became married. Andrei Bolkonski's sister Maria also married Natasha's brother Nick. Pull married, and form a happy family.


Work background

From the end of the 1870s to the beginning of the 1880s, capitalism in Russia developed rapidly, the countryside was greatly destroyed, and the lives of the working people became increasingly destitute.

At that time, the heavy burden of the Russian-Turkish war and successive years of famine brought even more serious disasters to the people.

At this time Tolstoy became more and more concerned about the plight of the people. He actively participated in the disaster relief work at that time, witnessed the terrible situation of peasants and urban poor, and finally saw clearly the reactionary nature of the tsarist autocratic system on the basis of his years of exploration and thinking.

The author participated in disaster relief work from 1891 to 1892 and realized that there was a huge gap between farmers and landlords. The root of farmers' poverty was the landlord's private ownership of land.

After Tolstoy completed the masterpieces "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" one after another, his worldview changed fundamentally in his later years, and his art criticism power reached its peak, reaching the point of "tearing away all masks". "Sober Realism."

This is undoubtedly the result of his artistic exploration, but also the result of his spiritual exploration. Observing real life in Russia from the perspective of the majority of peasants and expressing opinions on behalf of the peasantry is the main source of his great critical force in his later creations.

This is most vividly and prominently displayed in his various works, especially the novel "Resurrection".

As a representative work of Tolstoy in his later years, the plot is based on real cases. The novel was written from 1889 to 1899, and the material is a real story provided to him by the prosecutor Coyne: an aristocratic youth seduces his aunt's maid.

The servant girl was thrown out of the house after becoming pregnant, became a prostitute, and was tried for stealing money. The aristocrat attended the court as a juror and was deeply condemned by his conscience when he saw the woman he had seduced before.

He applied to the judge for permission to marry her to atone for his sin, but unfortunately, the maid died of typhus in prison. Taking this story as the main line, Tolstoy spent 10 years changing his draft six times and finally completed this immortal masterpiece.

The novel was originally planned to be written in four volumes, but only three volumes were produced.

Brief Introduction

Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Nekhludoff happened to be a juror in a poisoning trial. Unexpectedly, from the characteristic eyes of the prostitute Maslova, he recognized her as Katyusha, whom he had loved passionately in his youth.

So the scene unfolded in front of Nekhludoff's eyes: he was still a college student, and he lived in his aunt's manor during the summer to write a thesis. He is kind, enthusiastic, full of ideals, passionate about Western progressive ideas, and fell in love with Katyusha, the adopted daughter and maid of his aunt's family.

They played and chatted together, and their relationship was pure and flawless. Three years later, Nekhludoff graduated from university and joined the Guards Corps. He passed by his aunt's manor and met Katyusha again.

In the solemn atmosphere of Easter, he looked at Katyusha's slender figure in a snow-white dress, her flushed face, and her shiny black eyes, and experienced pure love again. happy.

However, after that, secular concepts and lust prevailed, and before he left, he took Katyusha and abandoned her. Later, when I heard that she had fallen, I completely forgot about her.

He was aware of his crime and his conscience was condemned, but he was afraid of being recognized by Maslova and would make a fool of himself on the spot, so he was very nervous and his thoughts were confused. The other judges and jurors were also absent-minded and made empty comments.

As a result, Maslova was wrongly sentenced to four years of hard labor in Siberia. When Nekhludoff figured out the consequences of their dereliction of duty and saw Maslova crying and yelling for injustice after being sentenced, he was determined to seek a remedy from the judge and lawyers. Lawyers told him he should appeal.

With mixed emotions, Nekhludoff went to the house of Missy (who was supposed to be his fiancée) for dinner. Originally, the luxurious style and elegant atmosphere here often made him feel comfortable and comfortable.

But today he seems to see the essence of everyone, and finds everything disgusting: General Korchagin is rude and proud; Missy is eager to marry; the Duchess is putting on airs. He made an excuse to say goodbye early.

When he returned home, he began to reflect and perform "soul purification", and found that he and the people around him were "shameful and abominable".

His mother's behavior during her lifetime; his ambiguous relationship with the wife of the nobleman; he opposed the private ownership of land, but inherited his mother's estate for squandering; all these happened after the crime against Katyusha.

He decided to change his whole life and announced to the housekeeper the next day: Pack up, dismiss the servants, and move out of this big house.

Nekhludoff visited Maslova in prison and asked her about their children. She was surprised at first, but she didn't want to touch the trauma.

Asking for ten rubles for alcohol and tobacco to anesthetize himself, Nekhludoff went to visit the prison the second time and expressed his desire to atone for his sins and even marry her.

At this time, Katyusha uttered a sad and angry accusation: "You use me for fun in this life, and you want to use me to save yourself in the next life!" Later, Nekhludoff helped her inmates and improved her situation, and she also quit smoking. Wine, study hard.

Nekhludoff dispersed the land and ran to the upper strata of Petersburg, but the appeal was still rejected, so he had to petition the emperor and immediately returned to Moscow to go to Siberia with Katyusha.

On the way, Katyusha was deeply infected by the noble sentiments of the political prisoners, forgave Nekhludoff, and for his happiness, agreed to marry Simonsson who respected her and cared for her. Nekhludoff also got the inspiration from the "Bible" that "people should not only hate their enemies but love their enemies."

"Anna Karenina"

Work background

Tsarist Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century coincided with the reform of Russian serfdom in 1861, and the whole society was in a special period of rapid transformation from the ancient and conservative feudal society to the emerging capitalist society.

On the one hand, under the strong impact of world capitalism, especially the bourgeois revolution in Western European capitalist countries, the feudal serfdom system in Russia collapsed rapidly, and the feudal aristocratic landlords' increasingly corrupt and degenerate ideas collided fiercely with the emerging bourgeois humanistic ideas.

The enlightenment of European bourgeois humanistic thoughts and the conscious or unconscious awakening of human nature have made people demand more and more for the liberation of human nature, freedom of love, and independent marriage.

Get rid of the fetters of feudal ideology and morality; on the other hand, the reactionary and decadent feudal serfdom still has strong resistance to bourgeois humanistic thought.

As we all know, Russia's serfdom reform was a top-down transformation process, unlike the French Revolution, which was a complete revolution from the bottom up, and its emerging bourgeois ideological carrier did not come from the civilian class and the small producer class.

It was transformed from a group of feudal bureaucrats and big aristocratic landlords who held power. The feudal traditions and concepts left over from the transformation process are still deeply ingrained in society and people's minds, just as Levin said in the article: "Everything is chaotic, and everything is being established."

From the 1870s, the Russian countryside was invaded by capitalist forces, and activities such as "going to the people" were carried out, which caused Tolstoy to start a new ideological crisis and a new period of exploration.

He is anxious and suspicious of the purpose and meaning of existence, and because of the "terrible status" of the parasitic life of the nobles he is in, he is deeply distressed and does not know "what to do". He studied all kinds of philosophical and religious books, but could not find the answer.

He even hid the rope and did not carry the shotgun, fearing that he would kill himself in order to get rid of it. Thereafter, he visited priests, bishops, monks, and hermits, and got acquainted with Kang, a farmer and independent believer. Hustaff.

Finally, the government-run church was completely rejected, and the belief of the patriarchal peasants was accepted. This was the period of Tolstoy's complex explorations, and it was during this period that "Anna Karenina" (1873–1877) was produced.

In 1870, Tolstoy planned to write a novel about a married woman who came from high society and went wrong and planned to write this woman as pitiful and innocent.

In 1872, five versts away from Tolstoy's farm, a woman named Annazkova found out that her lover had another new love and proposed to her son's governess, so in a fit of anger she took some change of clothes and went to Tula went, and later returned to the village, threw himself under the wheels of the wagon and died.

Tolstoy was deeply moved when he witnessed the tragedy. Tolstoy started writing in 1873 and completed it in 1877.

The novel has successively used titles such as "Young Wife", "Two Marriages" and "Two Couples", before finally using a clear and simple current title.

Brief Introduction

"Anna Karenina" depicts the vast and colorful picture of Russia from Moscow to other provinces and villages through the two clues of the heroine Anna's pursuit of love tragedy and Levin's reform and exploration in the face of the crisis in the countryside. It has described more than 150 characters successively, and it is a work of social encyclopedia.

Anna Karenina's elder brother, Prince Oblonsky, had five children and was still in love with a French governess, so he had a falling out with his wife Dolly. Anna took a bus from Petersburg to Moscow to mediate for her brother-in-law in Moscow and met the young officer Vronsky at the station.

Vronsky graduated from the aristocratic military academy and then set foot in Moscow's social circles. With his elegant demeanor, he won the favor of Dolly's sister Kitty, but he only flirted with her and had no intention of marrying her.

Konstantin Levin, who loved Kitty deeply, also came to Moscow from the countryside, and he planned to propose to Kitty. But Kitty, who had long fallen in love with Vronsky, rejected his marriage proposal. She was imagining a happy life with Vronsky in the future.

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About the Creator

Muhiuddin Alam

I'm Muhiuddin Alam, a blogger and content writer. Explore book recommendations and reviews of fiction, novels, and nonfiction on your trusted site & Geek Book

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