Lesson 1 (from Family Happiness)
The first chapter introduces us to Tolstoy and also to his writing style. This lesson discusses Tolstoy's writing, for how it reveals his style and his temperament.
1. Close Reading: Read the first few paragraphs, and analyze the writing style. How does Tolstoy write? What kinds of words does he use? How are his sentences structured?
2. Small Group Discussion: Ask students to work together in small groups to characterize Tolstoy's style. How does Tolstoy's translator establish a cadence in his sentences? When or how does he vary from that cadence ? What does he lay emphasis on when he varies from his typical sentences? Ask each group to report back to the class after some time for discussion.
3. Class Discussion: How would you characterize Tolstoy's temperament as a person? What does he talk about? What does he omit from his narration-- feelings, philosophy, analysis, etc...
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