"War and Peace" has always been at the forefront of my reading list. I have admired this great book for a long time, but I picked it up several times and read the first few pages and couldn't read it.
I was overwhelmed by the many characters and hard-to-remember names at the beginning, and I couldn't figure out who the protagonist was after reading for a long time.
But I know that "War and Peace" is the peak that I must climb on the road of reading, and I can't get around it.
This time I made up my mind to watch it completely in 20 days. After reading it, I can't be calm for a long time.
This book uses real history and historical figures as the background, shuttles back and forth under the two frameworks of war and peace, and arranges various people to appear on stage to interpret wonderful stories.
There are more than 1.2 million characters in the book, and there are more than 500 people with names and surnames.
I have selected the main most representative characters for comparative analysis.
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The main characters and characteristics of "War and Peace"
1. The Four Great Families in War and Peace
1. Kuragin family
The Kuragin family is a typical example of court aristocrats who are far away from the people. It is a representative of greed, stupidity, and shamelessness in the court and upper class.
It is a family that has no sense of responsibility for the country and the nation. Insidious, cunning, unscrupulous, and moral concepts are the main characteristics of this family.
When Russia was in trouble, and Napoleon approached Moscow, they cared little for the safety of the country and were always looking for promotion and fortune.
Kuragin's daughter Ellen is a "beautiful animal". When her motherland is in danger, she still seduces people with her beauty and leads a lewd life.
Kuragin's two sons, Iberit and Anatole, the former is stupid and the latter is vile and depraved. Debauchery and leisure are the whole content of the happy life they pursue.
Tolstoy slammed in his works: "All this group of people grabs rubles, crosses and titles, and what they pay attention to when they grab these things is only the snort of the Tsar's favor."
2. Rostov family
The Rostov family is a typical example of the patriarchal manor nobles beautified by the author, and it is the most moving, infectious, and poetic family in the author's writing.
They are not rich, but they are full of joy and life. The Rostov family is close to the people, maintaining the characteristics of simplicity, enthusiasm, sincerity, and hospitality, and has the qualities of a warm-hearted manor noble.
When Napoleon invaded, they were all anxious about the fate of the motherland and determined to contribute all their strength to defend the motherland.
Nikolai returned to the army to fight the enemy, and Natasha automatically served the wounded.
At the age of 15, Picha gave up her wish to enter university and decided to join the army, and finally gave her young life for the motherland.
3. Bolkonski family
The Bolkonski family has the characteristics of integrity, patriotism, and aloofness, and maintains the "old style" of the old nobles who are loyal to the country.
The old duke, in the name of strictness, has been alienated from the court after retiring to the manor and maintains a critical attitude towards the court. He had served in the army and valued Suvonov's military art.
When his son Andre bid him farewell to join the army, he especially emphasized the honor of soldiers and the sense of patriotic responsibility.
The war of 1812 shook him, and he resolutely called up the militia to fight against the approaching enemy.
During the intense patriotic activities, he suffered a stroke, and he was still concerned about the fate of the motherland before he died.
His son André was a patriot, and his daughter Maria, also an heir to the patriotic tradition, trembled at the thought of being at the mercy of the French.
4. Bezukhov family
Tolstoy did not write much about the Bezukhov family, the wealthiest family in Moscow. This family is a patriotic family. Pierre is the representative of the family.
2. Character image
A total of 559 characters are written in "War and Peace", among which there are no less than 30 who can leave a deep impression on us.
Here are the main ones for brief analysis.
1. Prince Andrei Bolkonski
Characters who appear on the first eight pages of War and Peace. He was twenty-six years old, and among the guests in the salon of Scherer, a court lady who was favored by the court, he seemed uncongenial and unconventional.
"Those people in the drawing room were not all familiar to him, but he hated them, even looked at them, and listened to them."
Prince Andrei felt that he had to keep in touch with this high society. And pain, in his view, this upper class is hypocritical, deceitful, and shameless.
He told Pierre:
"This is the life I live here—I don't fit in very well."
2. Pierre Bezukhov
Pierre and Andre have two common characteristics: one is that they have a critical and negative attitude toward the existing system, and as their ideological character develops, these criticisms become more and more sharp and profound;
The other is that they do not value their own The status of aristocrats is not satisfied with their luxurious and rich life, but they seriously explore the purpose and meaning of life, and regard solving the pain of farmers and the future of the motherland as their ultimate goals.
Of course, their ways of pursuing the truth and approaching the people are different.
Due to some of his own superior conditions, mainly through his work in the government and the army, Andrei realized the corruption of the autocratic serfdom system and understood the people's spirituality; El is mainly through his direct contact with people's various lives so that he can grow in thought and character.
3. Natasha Rostova
Natasha Rostova is the most moving female figure in "War and Peace". In Tolstoy's mind, she is the embodiment of life and happiness. In the synopsis of the novel, she is described as a "lovely and poetic mischievous."
Her father often referred to her as "gunpowder", and her mother affectionately called her "my Cossack". Pierre said she was simply in ecstasy. But Tolstoy described her as "not at all beautiful."
The general features of her face were unattractive, small eyes, a narrow forehead, and a good nose, but the lower part of the face, chin, and mouth were too large, and the lips were disproportionately thick.
When you look at her closely, you just can't understand why she is so cute.
But as soon as Natasha spoke:
"The little girl's voice is so soft and full of change, just like her whole appearance, everything she does seems to be done that way, and only that way is appropriate."
This passage is key to grasping Natasha's appearance and revealing her inner world at the same time.
Based on this tone - rare vivacity, changeable character, and natural elegance - this formed by The moving image of "charming spirit".
Tolstoy followed the principle of the close combination of the ordinary and the great, and the ordinary and the hero, and created the image of Kutuzov, the leader of the Great Patriotic War in 1812.
Tolstoy believes that any talented historical figure should obey the wishes and demands of the people in the course of history; it is the great spiritual power of the army and the people that produce an excellent commander.
The source of Kutuzov's strength came from the patriotism of the people, whose thoughts and aspirations were embodied in his activities. Tolstoy praised him as a "representative of the national war" and a "truly great man".
The images of Napoleon and Kutuzov in "War and Peace" are in stark contrast. In the writer's writing, Napoleon is the chief culprit of this war. , greedy for power. Napoleon believed that the course of history could be determined by individual will.
In order to realize his personal ambition, he did not hesitate to sacrifice the lives of millions of people to engage in plundering wars.
Contrary to the views of European historians, Tolstoy described the "hero" they praised as a small and shameful egoist, and made a bitter mockery.
Obviously, this showed the artist Tolstoy's Although the author did not comprehensively and correctly estimate the merits and demerits of Napoleon's life in terms of progressive views and patriotic stance, he revealed the aggressive nature of Napoleon's big bourgeoisie thoroughly.
Conclusion: Analysis of Characters in War and Peace
"War and Peace" also discusses many grand themes and the topics are too big and too deep for us to understand.
But the transformation of character, the sublimation of thought, and the pursuit of life ideals of the five protagonists above can definitely bring us enlightenment.
Come to the book, go among the characters, and discover ourselves.