The idea of creating a novel
The idea that made the classic writer to take up the pen in 1856 was to find historical experience to overcome the current split in Russian society. Half of the peasant reform heated tensions between peasants and landlords. Although even then there were landlords like "Rostov and Bolkonskie", harmonizing Russian society.
Tolstoy began his creative search for an integrating national idea from the Decembrist epoch. His novel was to begin with the return of the exiled Decembrist Pierre Bezukhov, along with his wife Natalia and the family. The artistic comprehension of the plot directed his search to 1825 (the year of the Decembrist uprising). However, Pierre walked consciously to the Senate Square that directed Lev Nikolaevich to the landmarks of his life: first in 1812, and then in 1805, when it all began. From 1863 to 1869 - for 7 years - he created this novel-epic.
Family and history
The classic in the epic novel features over 800 characters, of which more than 500 are historically confirmed. People in his description do not look like the collected faceless extras, they are typical, they are related by family and love relationships. Heavy people's trials are examined by him through the prism of the contacts of families. The family of the Bolkonsky, Kuragins and Rostovs demonstrate in three generations not only through the images of their individual representatives, but also through their characteristic tribal, "clan" traits, their attitude toward the Motherland, the people, and society.
For Tolstoy, the family is the alpha and omega of society. Therefore, he, as the creator of War and Peace, uses the power of the demiurge artist to "reward" his most beloved heroes with strong families based on love and respect.
"Healthy forces" of the nobility
In the midst of a grievous trial for Russia (and this has been masterfully shown in the novel) the Bolkonski family and the Rostov family "merged into one stream" with the people, which are bringing down the merciless "club of the people's war" against the Napoleonic army. They are written out by Tolstoy in particular carefully, in every detail, because these two kinds are not simply artistic images that "revive the novel," these are two types of the nobility devoted to the Motherland who are ready to give everything for their freedom: property and life.
Rostov Ilya Andreevich
Rostov, hereditary Russian boyars, continue to live the way of the last century. They in their actions used to be guided not by reason, but by spiritual impulses. The Bolkonski family and the Rostov family are not only different in terms of gentility, but also in their views.
The head of the family, Ilya Andreevich Rostov, has great acquaintances, he is a hospitable and generous host who regularly gives balls and dinners. He prefers everything Russian, likes to live in the country. With souls lives soul to soul. He understands everyone, loves, is delicate, cheerful, cheerful. With serfs, he is democratic - to curiosities. Shameless steward Mitka, using the trust of the master, robbed him. Ilya Andreevich does not have a business acumen, he is not economical in his expenses, and his welfare becomes more and more doubtful.
The master is self-confident and not degenerating. For example, when a hunter-farmer, in his thoughtlessness in his heart, cursed him for his slowness in hunting, he treated this with irony, silent and making a guilty look. Perhaps, for this patriarchal way of life, adherence to tradition and kindness, courtyards really love the Rostovs, not "working for them", but "helping them to keep house", as they would help their native people.
Ilya Andreevich can be called a man of honor. When his son Nikolenka lost in cards for 43 thousand rubles. Unscrupulous and embittered Dolohov, his father, in a difficult financial situation, gave money immediately. He did so based on the very foundations of his family: love and trust.
The family of the retired general-anshefa and the family of the Russian master
As we mentioned earlier, the Bolkonski Family and the Rostov family have different mores. If the Rostovs are civilians, overgrown for many generations by "roots" in the Moscow land, then the Bolkonskys are servicemen. And the service for the Motherland for them is not a race for ranks and awards.
It was not by his own will that Prince Nikolai Andreevich Bolkonsky came to the village estate, but after his disgrace. He suffered for his uncompromising nature, for his inability to bend his back before his superiors. Did he become fond of the world around him? To some extent, at the subconscious level - yes.
Economy of Rostov and Bolkonsk
The retired general-anshef fenced off his estate, as a fortress wall, from the rest of the world. He despises secular life, but his economy "works like a clock." The Prince purchases the actual imported agricultural equipment, personally supervises agricultural work. Old Bolkonsky cares about the peasants. They do not steal, but they know that labor will be paid for, and if need be, Prince Nikolai can expect help. People respect him rather than love him.
The Bolkonski family and the Rostov family are in different ways. If the Rostovs fall into decay more and more, the old Bolkonsky holds the control threads with a firm hand, receives income and puts it into agricultural machinery and self-education. His estate, and even the count himself, live strictly according to the daily routine, following the pattern of the military unit.
Comparative characteristics of Rostov and Bolkonskiy
However, the reader is struck by the fact that Prince Nikolai, predominating in reason and economics, is inferior to Ilya Andreyevich "power of the soul". Old Bolkonsky does not catch the "instinct of his soul", does not feel the flow of souls of close people, their aspirations. But this is the strong point of the Rostovs. Affection is their touching relationship to each other.
This often saves the family. When the "trampled and humiliated" Nikolenka Rostov, the loser to the scoundrel Dolokhov for the money actually owned, returned home, then Sister Natasha saved him, maybe from suicide. He heard behind the wall her music playing and singing, and then to him through this "emotional feeling" came the understanding that all the evil of the world is not worth the love that hovers around his family.
In short, the comparative characteristics of the Rostovs and Bolkonskiys by the criterion of the spirituality of family relations are not in favor of the retired general of Suvorov times. Rostovs may be short-sighted and under-educated, but they are in happiness, in constant communication, living in spiritual impulses, overcoming love and mutual understanding of the challenges of the cruel world around them.
What was manifested tyranny Prince Nicholas
Prince Nicholas, having managed to give his children education by instilling patriotism, is embarrassed by his feelings, considering them to be a weakness. It should be noted that, in fact, the older Bolkonsky is completely different. But it is spoiled by the grasped "mask of the warrior".
For example, saying goodbye to his son, he, as if embarrassed, asks him to "stay alive", adding that he "will be hurt" if he is killed. Then he hurries away to hide his tears. In this brief phrase there is everything: a suffering father's soul, a love for his son, his blessing to serve.
His children: the noble officer Andrei Bolkonsky and the daughter of Princess Mary - are unhappy with the shortage of parental warmth. But if Prince Andrew himself builds his career, the princess lives on the estate "with her father." The old prince, being an intelligent person, subconsciously understands the lack of sincerity, but "the mask of the warrior" is stronger, and he is engaged in tyranny. No doubt, Prince Nikolai himself does not really know why an adult girl in the wilderness to study geometry. However, having established such an order, it monitors its execution.
At the end of his life, the prince becomes a real tyrant in relation to his daughter, for some reason "training her with diligence" and morally treating him in a military manner, which looks like a direct mockery. However, the spiritual princess Mary overcomes the fatherhood complexes with the power of her love, and he, on his deathbed, asks for her forgiveness.
Common in Rostov and Bolkonski
Despite the different way of life: "from the heart" and "from the mind" - the deep core of these two families is the same. "Russianness", love of their land and devotion to the Fatherland.
In the war, exchanging his staff career for the command of the regiment, Andrei Bolkonsky serves. He, like a real hero in an attack with a banner in his hands, is seriously injured and then dies of the wound. Of course, the younger Bolkonsky inherited from his father "Suvorov" courage.
Embraced by a youthful impulse, young Petya Rostov rushes to the front after his brother Nikolai. Father and mother bless him. A merciless war, as Tolstoy wrote, - an action that contradicts "human reason" and "human nature" - kills with a stray bullet of this romantic and bright boy.
Stoyko fights against the French Nikolai Rostov, does not hide in headquarters. At the risk of life, near the advanced French units, Princess Marya, who later became his wife, rescues herself.
A real, not heroic, fanfare story is set forth by War and Peace. The Rostovs and Bolkonskie (namely, the civilian part of the families) remain in their estates until the very last opportunity, before the capture by the French. Rostovs at the same time turn their house into a hospital for the wounded. And when the enemy is approaching close, Count Ilya Andreevich Rostov consciously goes to his ruin for the sake of saving his compatriots. He orders that the acquired property be removed from the prepared for the evacuation of wagons and taken away by Russian soldiers bleeding at them. He can not do otherwise.
Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky decides to resist the French as a partisan, he equips his peasants in the Bald Mountains and becomes the head of the militia. However, the heavy news received the day before - the surrender of Smolensk - had already knocked down his strength, and his heart could not stand it. He is dying.
Natasha Rostov and Andrei Bolkonsky
Prince Andrew, the grimace of his "beautiful face" reacting to secular entertainment, ironically met the ball at Natasha Rostov. Why is he so disgusted with secularity? He was disappointed with her. This is a sad story: for love Andrew Bolkonsky married a noble girl Liza. She loved him, but mentally they were far away. Together with his young wife, he, with the sole purpose - to please her, attended balls and parties, where he sat out on the sidelines. Family happiness did not work, soon a misfortune occurred - Lisa's death at birth. His wife, the "little princess", gave Andrei a son. He was raised by his father.
Natasha Rostova, a general favorite, could not physically not communicate with loved ones. She did not like to be alone, to think. It is something like a cheerful bubbling spring brook. Let us recall the scene of the return from the war of Nicholas Rostov. How does Tolstoy portray Natasha who meets her brother? Not as a person, but as a whirlwind, a stream of joyful, boiling energy: "something, ... like a storm, flew out." And this something embraced and "began to kiss him."
It is no accident that in the work of Tolstoy met Natasha Rostov and Andrei Bolkonsky, "ice and flame." And the flame melt the ice, the story of their love is a real decoration of the great novel. Andrei Bolkonsky's meeting with Natasha influenced the prince. He became noticeably younger. His cold discernment thawed, his eyes acquired brilliance, and a combination of the feelings of two completely different people occurred. Before that, he allowed himself to be himself only with a small circle of people. Natasha immediately, from the first meeting broke into this circle.
How did it happen (and soon enough) that the scoundrel Anatol Kuragin dragged Natasha out of boredom with him, falling in love with himself, having started a scam with abduction? The answer is easy to find. Natasha has always lived with feelings, and the feelings aroused by liars are deceptive. However, she, having passed through comprehension and repentance, realized that she loved the young Bolkonsky, but he, deeply offended, decided to dedicate himself to the service.
The depth of the image of Andrei Bolkonsky
Andrei Bolkonsky is one of the best and deepest images in Russian literature. Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy with the lips of MI Kutuzov gave him a description: his path is the path of valor, the way of service.
The hereditary officer has all the data for a brilliant career: the mind, common sense, an understanding of the essence of military affairs, discernment. In the beginning, he is selfish, unrestrained. However, sincere purity, the desire to serve the Fatherland, to be a caring and resolute commander of the regiment entrusted to him determine the evolution of the life position of Andrei Bolkonsky.
To complete comprehension of himself as a person, he comes after being wounded, dying. For several years of the war, it has come to him to realize his being of such depth to which adherents have followed for decades. He comprehends what God's love is.
In literary criticism and various writings, one can often see the judgment that Tolstoy's beloved female image was Natasha Rostova. It is not true.
Favorite image of the classic - Princess Mary. It was in her that the writer put the most expensive for himself - the way he himself represented his mother.
Leo Nikolayevich did not remember her. She died, giving birth to Lyova's sister when he was only 2 years old. Since childhood and for all life, the image of the mother was sacred to the classics. When he tried to imagine her, she visualized a gentle, clean, with a soft, radiant gaze. The classic admitted that even when he was "at an age," he would "pray for her image" on a grave hour, and my mother helped.
We will not dwell on the relationship between Mary and father (they have already been covered above). Let us note that Princess Marya is a girl inclined to seclusion, to meditation, to beneficence. Outwardly, it is "ordinary", however, until the moment when the interlocutor does not look into her eyes, the real beauty comes from her soul. The gratitude she expressed to Nicholas Rostov, who helped her escape the French capture, deeply sank that in her heart. It was through their marriage that the Bolkonski and Rostov family joined together.
Comparing the classics of these two worthy families, of course, has adorned one of the best novels in world literature.
Lev Tolstoy's novel "War and Peace" is a book that makes you think and analyze. This is especially true now, when the surrounding life is filled with cliches, clichés. Today, often representatives of one social group imagine representatives of another primitive-generalized.
The thinking person always has to see the truth. As an argument "for" careful study of human nature can be "War and Peace", where it is clearly seen on the example of nobles that they are different, in particular, in their environment there are Bolkonsky, Dolokhovs, Rostovs and Kuragins.