Study Guide

War and Peace Essay

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In the following excerpt. Maude praises Tolstoy for his artistry, for "clearness of form and vividness of colour," for showing things as his characters saw them, and for presenting the soul of man "with unparalleled reality."

Nothing can be simpler than most of the occurrences of War and Peace. Everyday events of family life: conversations between brother and sister, or mother and daughter, separations and reunions, hunting, holiday festivities, dances, card-playing, and so forth, are all as lovingly shaped into artistic gems as is the battle of Borodino itself. Whatever the purpose of the book may be, its success depends not on that purpose but on what Tolstoy did under its influence, that is to say it depends on a highly artistic execution.

If Tolstoy succeeds in fixing our gaze on what occupied his soul it is because he had full command of his instrument—which was art...

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This section contains 668 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the War and Peace Study Guide
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War and Peace from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.