kutipan teks novel sejarah tersebut merupakan struktur yang mencuri perhatian
Aug 21, 2021 · Kutipan teks novel sejarah tersebut merupakan struktur. Perhatikan kutipan teks berikut dengan seksama! (1) Yang mencuri perhatian kali ini bukan hanya soal desas-desus itu. (2) Sepeninggal Kalagemet Sri Jayanegara dengan segera muncul pertanyaan, siapa yang akan naik tahta menggantikannya. 0
Tolstoy says history books are like works of fiction. Great men of history, like Napoleon, are more like fictional heroes; created, shaped and glorified by historians. That is the main, premise of Tolstoy’s masterpiece, War and Peace. What’s it about? What’s the plot?, Why is it important? Why is it considered the greatest novel of all time? In this video,, I will tell you everything about this masterpiece., Hey everyone. Thank you for watching this video., Война и мир or War Peace by Leo Tolstoy published in 1869 is often called the greatest, novel of all time. Everyone has heard of it but few have read it even fewer have finished, it. Tolstoy, himself, however, didn’t consider it a novel. Why? Because it’s three books, in one by combining history, philosophy and fiction. So in this video I will discuss all, three topics. First I will give you a brief historical context and Tolstoy’s motivation, in writing such a massive novel. Second, I will summarise the main plot in two parts., Third, I will discuss Tolstoy’s philosophical approach to history. And finally I will leave, you with a few points of analysis and an interesting quote at the end. So get your coffee and sit, back, and let me take you back to Russia in 1812 as Napoleon’s French army of 400,000, strong were marching towards Moscow. After watching this, you will know pretty much everything, you need to know about Tolstoy’s masterpiece, a beast of a novel of 1200 pages long, with, almost 600 characters, full of philosophical digressions, and war strategies. , Okay, before I summarise the novel, let me give you a little historical context. , Historical context Catherine the Great who ruled Russia from, 1762 to 1796 made French her official court language, so most of the Russian nobility, spoke French. Here is the irony though, Napoleon didn’t have to invade Russia, because those, who ruled Russia all were French-speaking people. The Russian aristocrats loved French, culture and they even read French literature. In fact, you could say Napoleon’s invasion, of Russia hindered French culture from flourishing in Russia, instead it cemented Russian culture, and nationalism even more. Tolstoy’s main character in War and Peace is a Francophile, with a French name, Pierre, a Russian educated in France. So Tolstoy was making a point, here., In the 1860s when Tolstoy was in his mid-thirties, while visiting Paris, he met Victor Hugo who, had just published his masterpiece, Le Miserables, often called the greatest French novel of, all time. So upon returning to Russia, Tolstoy, a newly-wed and aching to write something, big and spectacular. He settled himself behind a desk at his large country estate of Yasnaya, Polyana to write a huge novel, as ambitious as Victor Hugo’s Le Miserables or Balzac’s, Human comedies, or Stendhal’s crystallisation or how things happen., Tolstoy wanted to understand Russia, especially what led to the emancipation of serfs in 1861, when 31 million Russians were suddenly free. Tolstoy knew this event had its roots in the, 1820s, specially the Decembrist Revolt of 1825 when the aristocrats revolted against, the Tsar but failed. Tolstoy, then thought to understand 1820s, he had to look what had, happened before, the 1812 Russian victory over Napoleon, to understand that he had to, go back again to 1805, when Napoleon decisively defeated the Russians and Austrians at the, Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. So War and Peace begins in 1805 and ends in the 1820s. So Tolstoy, was inspired by French literature, set himself the task of writing about the French-Russian, wars. , When Tolstoy started to write the Napoleonic wars, he quickly realised there were plenty, of records about the military and political leadership, or the people of power, but not, much about the peasants or soldiers who actually fought in the wars. Here came Tolstoy’s, realizatdion that historians tend to fictionalise history by focusing on a few major characters,, while forgetting the people who do the fighting. Why? For the same reason, novelists tend to, create as few characters as possible for the sake of simplicity. So Tolstoy formed his, own theory of history. The official history books are fictionalised versions of history,, as they solely focus on the kings and generals, in other words fictional heroes. , Tolstoy believed these so called historical heroes such as Napoleon couldn’t have changed, the course of history by themselves, but it was the entire society, from those fighting, in the trenches, to the peasants producing the food, to the farmers feeding the horses, and to the women who looked after the children, they all contributed to historical events,, but historians hardly ever mention the millions of soldiers or ordinary men and women. Here, is a quote: “The movement of nations is caused not by power, nor by intellectual activity,, nor even by a combination of the two as historians have supposed, but by the activity of all, the people who participate in the events, and who always combine in such a way that, those taking the largest direct share in the event take on themselves the least responsibility, and vice versa.” , To illustrate Tolstoy’s theory let me give you an example. The reason politicians break, their promises is very simple, they are unable to implement change. So it is ridiculous to, say history happened because of those men at the top. Tolstoy says when looking at a, steam locomotive, historians tend to focus on the smoke and ignore the rest. For example,, Will Durant’s history books are titled after an individual for the sake of simplicity and, clarity. By focusing on these leaders, historians give them a kind of superhero powers. History, for Tolstoy is about an entire people, not some individual heroes who are pedestalised, by historians. Here is a quote: “There are two sides to the life of every man, his individual, life, which is the more free, the more abstract its interests, and his elemental hive life, in which he inevitably obeys laws laid down for him. Man lives consciously for himself,, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity., A deed done is irrevocable, and its result coinciding in time with the actions of millions, of other men assumes an historic significance. The higher a man stands on the social ladder,, the more people he is connected with and the more power he has over others, the more evident, is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.”, Tolstoy was a huge admirer of Jean-Jacque Rousseau, the French philosopher, who believed, that humans on an innate level are good, but society corrupts them and he famously said, that humans are born free but everywhere in chains. But he also uses the Hegelian notion, that we are the product of our time. A queen bee is not determining the course of a hive,, but slave to its rules just as soldier bees are. Quote: “History, that is, the unconscious,, general, hive life of mankind, uses every moment of the life of kings as a tool for, its own purposes.”, So Tolstoy set himself to write a fictionalised history that focused on those people who are, mostly ignored by historians. This is Tolstoy’s Copernican revolution. He uses fiction to, tell the true history of the Napoleonic wars, which is ironic. He combines the military,, social, emotional and existential history of that period. So Tolstoy’s War and Peace, is a novel, a history book and also a meditation on life. There is a saying that history is, written by the victors, but literature is written about the outsiders, who are ignored, by history books. To make his point crystal clear, Tolstoy treats all his characters as, real people, with flaws and redeeming qualities, who makes mistakes, forget things, often contradict, themselves, so you really see them as genuinely real people. But the one character, the guy, historians spend most time talking about, is depicted by Tolstoy as almost cartoonishly, square is Mr Napoleon. Just to poke fun at history books. Or perhaps Tolstoy looked down, on Napoleon for invading his country, or because he was a short man. Tolstoy himself was a, tall and huge man. Even his name Tolstoy in Russian means thick or fat. But I have to, be fair, Tolstoy shows no prejudice towards the French, so in that sense he is a truly, universalist., So Napoleon, the superhero of history books, is caricatured in War and Peace while others, characters, who don’t make it into the history books are depicted as real humans by Tolstoy. , Okay now I will summarise Tolstoy’s War and Peace. This summary is delivered in two, parts. Each part covers about half of the novel., Summary (Part 1): The historical background of War and Peace, is the Napoleonic Wars of 1805 and 1812. But the main story is about 5 Russian noble families, in the span of some 15 years before and after Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. The, families are: the Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Kuragins, and the Drubetskoys. , Okay, who is the protagonist of War and Peace? Tolstoy’s entire philosophy was built on, the importance of groups, not individual heroes. But I will go against Tolstoy due to time, constraints and tell you that out of the 600 characters, three are pretty important characters, in the novel. Napoleon is not one of them. , The first main character is Count Pierre Bezukhov, a France-educated Russian, hence the name,, Pierre, but he is slightly awkward Russian who mostly resembles and represents Tolstoy, himself and his way of thinking. So if you have to pick a protagonist in War and Peace,, it is Pierre. , The second character that is pretty important in the novel is Natasha Rostova who we meet, in 1805 when she is 13 years old and later on a grown woman. She represents the passionate, and spontaneous Russian woman full of life and energy. , The third important character is Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who is perhaps the most Russian, of the male characters. He’s a somewhat nihilistic intellectual who represents Russian, pessimism, as well as the courage of not being afraid of death. He is perhaps the character, Tolstoy wanted to be himself. Despite being a very rational person, he possesses that, Russian value of bravery. , Prince Andrei represents the rational side of Tolstoy, while Pierre represents the irrational,, indecisive and impressionable side who lacks clarity of thought, and floats about until, he finds an anchor among the freemasons and also Natasha. So Prince Andrei is the Apollo,, the man of reason, and Pierre is the Dionysian man of impulsive emotion. Pierre is an outsider, because he is an illegitimate son, and awkward, so it is apt to say that while history books, are about victors, fiction, however, is about outsiders. Pierre doesn’t feel at home in, Russia because he is educated in France and loves Napoleon like a hero. Of course, later, on he is transformed by Tolstoy. , Okay we are in 1805 in Saint Petersburg at a soirées, a social gathering of the Russian, high society including princes and princesses, counts and all sorts where we meet two of, the main characters. Pierre, whose wealthy father Count Bezukhov is on the verge of death,, is about to inherit a good chunk of money, so he finds himself quite popular among everyone., He is in Saint Petersburg to find a job but his foreign education and awkward personality, make it difficult to find a job. He listens to others talk all kinds of shit but he just, listens. His best friend Prince Andrei Bolkansky who is recently married complains about his, wife and is fed up with life in Saint Petersburg. Here Tolstoy draws on his own life, being, married but not satisfied with life. Incidentally, despite loving his wife, Tolstoy had a very, unhappy marriage. Back then marriage was seen as an eternal road to happiness, but of course, we know that idealised expectation leaves you disappointed and sometimes in an existential, crisis. , So Prince Andrei, not happy at home, decided to join the army alongside Prince Mikhail, Kutuzov, the main Russian general who defeated Napoleon in 1912. So far we talked about people, from two families, the Bezukhovs represented by Pierre, and the Bolkanskys by Prince Andrei. , Now the action moves to Moscow, the former capital of Russia. Saint Petersburg represents, the new European Russia a bit colder being farther north but also because being more, westernised, and formal therefore slightly fake and full of hypocrisy. Moscow, however,, still has the charm of the old Russia, full of warmth and friendliness. In Moscow we meet, our third family in War and Peace, the Rostovs, mainly Count Ilya and his wife Natalya and, their four kids, one of which is our main female protagonist. Their 13 year old daughter, Natasha, a very spontaneous and vivacious girl, is in love with Boris, a boy from another, family called the Drubetskoys, our fourth family in the novel. Boris is about to join, the Russian army to fight Napoleon. The teenage Natasha remains one of the most important, characters in the novel. She represents a kind of Russian woman who is full of energy, and passion, who dances like crazy. But she doesn’t care. In fact she falls in love, with several men throughout the novel, namely the two main male characters, Pierre and Prince, Andrei. Later on she becomes a very caring wife and mother. Some criticised Tolstoy for, taming her wild character, but life and ageing tame you, no matter how wild you are. Tolstoy’s, writing always remains true to life. , While we are in Moscow, the war is happening somewhere in the distance. You can’t hear, the gunshot yet, but it is happening in the western front. It’s important to note that, all these families know one another and have some sort of connections. The aristocrats, in every country would stick with their own kinds so it is a small world, so to speak. , Prince Andrei, the most pessimistic and most Russian character, tired of his marriage,, leaves his pregnant wife, Lise, alone to join the war against the French. Later his wife, would die at childbirth and he himself he would get wounded in the war. , The action moves to the battleground, the 1905 Battle of Austerlitz in which Napoleon, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Russians and Austrians. Here we also see Napoleon for the, first time through Prince Andrei, when he is wounded and captured by the French army., Andrei, like all young men of that period, was fascinated by the character of Napoleon, just like the superhero of today. Here Tolstoy makes it clear how fictionalised Napoleon, had become. While lying down on the ground, Napoleon happens to pass by. Here is a quote:, “So insignificant at that moment seemed to him all the interests that engrossed Napoleon,, so mean did his hero himself with his paltry vanity and joy in victory appear, compared, to the lofty, equitable, and kindly sky which he had seen and understood.” This reminded, me of Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, when Marcel goes to Venice, the buildup and, expectation are crushed when he sees Venice itself. Here, Tolstoy tells us that historical, figures are not as big or heroic as our imagination make them. So in essence history is a work, of fiction because Napoleon is made bigger because we are led to believe he was greater, than he was. Tolstoy goes on: “Looking into Napoleon’s eyes Prince Andrei thought of, the insignificance of greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and, the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one alive could understand, or explain.”, Summary (Part 2): Okay our first main historical battle is over, with the French having a decisive victory against the Russians and Austrians. Now the, second and the most important battle is coming up. , But right now, enough wars, we move to Moscow again with Nikolai Rostov, Natasha’s father., Tolstoy tells us about some romances blossoming among the youth of Russian aristocrats. Men, propose and women reject. Parents want to marry their kids to richer kids for practical, reasons. But you know kids. They are stupid as they fall in love with their heart, not, head. So the topic of love, marriage and money fly around a lot. Speaking of money, our awkward, main character, Count Pierre, has finally won the lottery. He has received a huge amount, of money in inheritance. Now everyone wants to be friends with him and all the ladies, want to marry him. He is the biggest prize in Moscow. But for Napoleon or the French, however, Moscow itself is the real prize. But more on that later. , With lots of money, Pierre has gained self-confidence and charm. He finally marries Hélène Kuragina, who comes from our fifth family in War and Peace, the Kuragins. She is very beautiful,, but a bit sexually liberated and promiscuous. It’s clear that she is after Pierre’s, money and doesn’t love him. There is also a rumour she may have had incestuous relationship, with her own brother, Anatole Kuragin, a drunkard womaniser. Also possibly have had an affair, with another man called Fyodor Ivanovic Dolokhov, a psychopathic gambler. We’re in Russia,, so you know what happens. There is a duel, of course. Pierre against Dolokhov., Pierre injures Dolokhov in the duel. This experience transforms Pierre into a philosopher., In all Russian novels, duels are the most transformative event in a character’s life., You either die, get injured or your whole outlook on life changes. Pierre is no longer, interested in his wife, Hélène but instead he is seeking to find the meaning of life, and how to be a good man. So what does he do? He joins the Freemasons and becomes a, pacifist. Tolstoy himself was a pacifist and even said to have influenced Mahatma Gandhi,, the biggest pacifist in the 20th century. , Around the same time, his friend, Prince Andrei returns from the war, physically wounded,, but now also psychologically wounded because his abandoned wife died at childbirth, for, which he blames himself and as a result he has become even more nihilistic and pessimistic, about life. Also important to note that his superhero, Mr Napoleon was nothing but a disappointing, character. , Now the two troubled men, Andrei and Pierre need some comfort. I mean womanly comfort., Hélène finally persuades Pierre to take her back. Prince Andrei, now a widower, falls, in love with the lively Natasha Rostov. When love arrives, nihilism goes out of the window., This same thing happened in Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. But Andrei’s father tells him, that the Rostovs are not nice people. Also important to note that the Rostovs, despite, their pomp, are a bit penniless. Andrei’s father tells him if he wants to marry her,, he should wait for a year to see if he still loves her. Andrei, being a sensible man, thinks, this is good advice so he tells Natasha that he needs time. But he also tells Natasha that, she is free to not wait for him. That is what she does., While Andrei’s waiting, the energetic, young Natasha has a few romantic adventures here, and there, and even considers an elopement with Anatole Kuragin, a hedonistic man who, loves women, and wine who is supposedly even had sex with his sister, Hélène, Pierre’s, wife. There are more rejections and scheming going on among the Russian nobility. Even, Pierre, our philosopher, falls in love with Natasha. Her energy is infectious. , When Andrei finds out about Natasha’s transgressions, he’s deeply hurt, but being a rationally, mature man, he nurses his wounds quietly like an injured animal, so he doesn’t make a, scene about it. He heads to the battle front. Men fight wars for two reasons: in the hope, of getting a woman when victorious, or escape a heart-break. Andrei’s heart-break makes, him even more determined to go to war. I talked about it in my video on George Orwell that, conflicts give us a profound purpose in life. When you feel empty inside, you immediately, look for some conflicts on the outside. Andrei’s heart-broken by Natasha’s youthful mistakes,, so he heads to the battle. Pierre, however, lives a peaceful life, thus feels very empty., We humans need a battle, a struggle or conflict to keep us going or give us a purpose. Even, joining the freemasons didn't help Pierre much So what does he do? He falls in love, with Natasha, a woman who broke his best friend’s heart. Ah we humans always need some drama, and chaos in our lives, don’t we? In Tolstoy’s novels falling in love is like going to war,, even marriage supposed to be peaceful, blissful, smooth sailing, is in fact a conflict, contradictions, and often chaos. , While the Russian high society is absorbed in their own romantic battles, Napoleon wants, the whole Moscow, the whole Russia. The war is nearing. Pierre, our philosopher, connects, a few dots about Napoleon being the Antichrist, so decides it is time he helped his country,, Mother Russia. We enter the Battle of Borodino, the most decisive battle in War and Peace, as well as history books. The violence is terrible. Dead bodies everywhere. Tolstoy, in fact used his own personal experience of fighting in the Crimean war of 1850s as an, artilleryman and frontline soldier, so the scenes are extremely vivid and real. , Even Pierre’s best friend, the nihilistic Prince Andrei is also among the casualties., His sacrifice symbolises the courage and bravery of the Russian soldiers in defending their, country. But also on a personal level, he manages to forgive Anatole Kuragin for going, behind his back in trying to elope with Natasha. This is a very moving scene as Andrei again, shows he is the bigger man in War and Peace, even bigger than Napoleon because he forgives, his enemy. It’s important to note that Andrei is wounded, but he dies later in the care, of his lover, Natasha whose betrayal he forgives but then just like his early nihilistic tendency,, he loses the will to live. Quote: “But at the instant he died, Prince Andrei remembered, that he was asleep, and at the very instant he died, having made an effort, he awoke., ‘Yes, it was death! I died—and woke up. Yes, death is an awakening!’” Here Tolstoy, says that life is a dream and death is like waking up from that dream, which is really, beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time., The Russian army finally has halted the French advance but decides on a tactical retreat, to allow the French march on Moscow. Napoleon’s French army with their allies, mainly the, Poles, was the most sophisticated army at the time. The Russian Army however, was a, kind of ramshackle group of peasants. The difference was, one was fighting for a genuine, cause, defending their country. In fact General Kutuzov often relied on instinct and intuition., At one point, when getting ready for the battle, his men ask him how to prepare, he tells them, to have a good night's sleep. Kutuzov’s approach is to go with the flow like wind,, so almost mystical. Napoleon represents modernity, acting like a machine, while Kutuzov represents, the flow of nature. Here is a quote: “By long years of military experience he knew,, and with the wisdom of age understood, that it is impossible for one man to direct hundreds, of thousands of others struggling with death, and he knew that the result of a battle is, decided not by the orders of a commander in chief, nor the place where the troops are, stationed, nor by the number of cannon or of slaughtered men, but by that intangible, force called the spirit of the army, and he watched this force and guided it in as far, as that was in his power.”, Before abandoning the city, the Russians decide to burn Moscow. If we can’t have it, we, don’t want the French to have it either. Napoleon finally enters Moscow, a city turned, to ashes. Most people have left, but Pierre has remained behind. He has a slightly crazy, plan. His plan is to stab evil in the eye. I mean he wants to assassinate Napoleon himself., But he gets distracted from his big mission. In trying to be a hero to save an Armenian, girl from robbers, he is captured by the French and his assassination plot is foiled. The, French almost execute him but he’s spared at the last minute. While in captivity, he, makes friends with a Russian peasant, Platon Karataev, who symbolises the Russian honesty,, integrity and simplicity. For Tolstoy, innocence is better than intelligence. Peasants are, connected to land, so close to nature, therefore they have that raw honesty and integrity which, the Russian nobility had lost. This reminded me of Dostoevsky’s transformation while, at prison in Siberia when he came in contact with the ordinary Russians whom he almost, falls in love with and spends the rest of his life defending them. Here Tolstoy unites, the Russian peasants with the aristocrats. Tolstoy paints an ironic picture here. Pierre, in prison finds a kind of spiritual freedom that he lacked on the outside. , The burning of Moscow was perhaps a tactical genius because the French couldn’t survive, the harsh winter in a city of ash, so they had no choice but to retreat. When your back, is against your enemy, you’re most vulnerable. The Russians found the opportunity to attack, them, depleting their army. Napoleon returns to France with his tail between his legs,, humiliated but most importantly lost almost 400,000 men. For what? Nothing. While in, the hands of the French army, as they retreat from Moscow, Pierre witnesses the terrible, tragedies of war and even his new best friend Platon is shot dead by the French. Pierre, himself, however, is lucky and rescued by the Russian soldiers., He returns home to find that his wife has died of drug overdose. His best friend, Prince, Andrei is also dead. Now a widower, and friendless. What does he do? He finds love. He rekindles, his romantic feelings with Natasha and they get married., There are two epilogues in War and Peace. One talking about the characters and the other, explaining Tolstoy’s philosophy behind the novel. Most readers find the second epilogue, very annoying and anti-climactic. I think Tolstoy wanted to pre-emptively respond to, his critics by giving a detailed response to how he interpreted history., Philosophical context: Okay, now is a good time to talk about Tolstoy’s, philosophical inspiration for War and Peace. In other words, how we understand the world, or how we can understand history in the first place. Tolstoy was influenced by Arthur Schopenhauer’s, Will and Representation. To understand this, let’s briefly look at the two major secular, philosophical schools in Europe, the rationalists and the empiricists. The rationalists believed, that we understand the world through reason. The best example is Rene Descartes who sat, in his armchair and rationalised, “I think, therefore I am.” So rationalists rely on, ideas or thoughts to know what’s going on. The empiricists, however, rely less on rational, ideas but more on empirical data, i.e. our experience in the real world to understand, the world. The empiricists were mostly English and Scottish philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, and David Hume. So the rationalists say reason alone is enough to know the world. But the, empiricists think, experiences let us know the world. So in how knowledge travels, rationalism, is an inside out approach, while empiricism is an outside-in approach. , Then the German philosopher Immanuel Kant tried to bring these two schools, the rationalists, and the empiricists together by arguing that we humans by rationally categorising the world,, we impose our own structure on the world. So we’re not passive observers of reality, but actively making reality conform to our categorisation. So according to Kant the human, mind actively uses experience as a kind of tool to probe, categorise and understand the, world. Kant also made a distinction between two realms, phenomena, reality as they appear, to us, and noumena or reality as it is. , Arthur Schopenhauer adopted Kantian philosophy in his book Will and Representation, which, is relevant to us here as this book influenced Tolstoy in his own philosophy developed in, War and Peace. Schopenhauer argued that the world that appears to us, i.e. reality or, history, is not the world that actually exists independent of us. According to Schopenhauer,, human will is like a lens through which we see and interpret and even study the world,, which is a mere representation of the actual world. Schopenhauer also said that human will, is the source of human misery, which is similar to the Buddhist philosophy that desires make, us suffer more., So to bring it full circle, Tolstoy argues that historical events are not the result, of individual leader’s will or whim but rather bigger social forces or the will of, the entire society that take a country to war, not its leaders. Hitler couldn’t have, mobilised Germany if the socio-economic conditions weren’t right. Napoleon, according to Tolstoy,, was somewhat like a puppet, an accidental leader pushed forward to lead the French., If he were to come at a different period in history, he would not have been able to mobilise, a small village, let alone the entire French nation. Tolstoy subscribed to Hegel’s idea, that we are the product of our period. , For Tolstoy leaders are like great men pushed to the front. Historical events happen because, of thousands of smaller events that lead up to that big event, i.e. great wars. This same, rule also applies to the decision of an individual who to marry or what career to pick or even, what to eat. There are thousands of conscious and subconscious triggers the lead up to you, making a decision. Necessity i.e. survival forces us to act, but sometimes we also act, because we want to thrive and dominate. Wars are often like wildfire, sometimes spontaneous, and sometimes caused by arson. History is the same. Society is made up of millions of, individuals, each individual is made up of millions of cells. The unconscious universal, swarm life of humanity is the often blind force behind historical events., Tolstoy finally settles that free will doesn’t exist. We all have to obey the strict rules, of the hive we live in. Here is a quote: “Speaking of the interaction of heat and electricity, and of atoms, we cannot say why this occurs, and we say that it is so because it is inconceivable, otherwise, because it must be so and that it is a law. The same applies to historical, events. Why war and revolution occur we do not know. We only know that to produce the, one or the other action, people combine in a certain formation in which they all take, part, and we say that this is so because it is unthinkable otherwise, or in other words, that it is a law.” So for Tolstoy free will is more like an illusion. He says: “The, great natural forces lie outside us and we are not conscious of them; we call those forces, gravitation, inertia, electricity, animal force, and so on, but we are conscious of, the force of life in man and we call that freedom.”, Analysis Now I will discuss a few interesting points, in War and Peace. , Tolstoy paints his characters as real people with genuine emotions, flaws, inconsistencies, and should be copied by all novelists. Every human being has flaws and good qualities., Simon Schama, the British historian, sums it up very well: ”Tolstoy didn’t write, characters, he wrote people.” That’s so true. You get to know his characters so well. , History is a lot more random than historians tend to make. Historians tend to explain history, in a way that things happened for a reason, a rational explanation, but Tolstoy thinks, history is packed with emotional outbursts, spontaneous events, just like a real person, lives their life, full of spontaneous actions., Life is a struggle. War and peace cannot exist without the other. In every aspect of life,, there is a battle going. Even falling in love and getting married is like going to war., Family life is full of battles, so Tolstoy juxtaposes war with family life. Family loyalty, is like nationalism, being loyal to your country and society. , Society nourishes us but also corrupts us. Humans are the same in every country. You, just need to peel a layer to recognise that we are all the same. Tolstoy contrasts social, warmth, friendship, family and camaraderie among soldiers with the cold of unhappy family,, enemies and violence. So society is the cause of our happiest experiences in life and also, unhappiest experiences., Tolstoy points out that those at the top, aristocrats, have a fake kind of honour and, courage. While the common soldiers and peasants have real courage and make real sacrifices., War and Peace is a great mirror of society, how people decide their priorities and cope, with their mistakes and how they amend those mistakes. The Russian title of War and Peace, could also mean War and The World. Mir in Russian means both peace and the world. So, the name Vladimir literally means a boy who rules the world. So Tolstoy’s novel is really, about how society functions. Of course today, War and Peace is used to Torture Russian kids, in school as it is a compulsory read. Be happy that you don’t live in Russia. , Tolstoy was interested in Europe and he characterised each nation thus, which is pretty funny I, thought. Here we go: “…only Germans are self-confident on the basis of an abstract, notion—science, that is, the supposed knowledge of absolute truth. A Frenchman is self-assured, because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive, to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured, as being a citizen of the best-organized state, in the world, and therefore as an Englishman always knows what he should do and knows that, all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because, he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured, just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe, that anything can be known. The German’s self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and, more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth—science—which, he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.” , Do you agree with Tolstoy’s assessment of these Europeans? , It took Tolstoy 5 years to write War and Peace. I spent about 90 hours making this video,, from reading, researching, writing the script, editing and making and publishing the video., If you enjoyed it, give this video a like, and also consider supporting the channel by, donating on my Ko-fi page. A generous viewer donated a big sum this week. You know you, are. I was really astounded and extremely grateful to the donation. Thank you as always, for watching.