Note:I have read about 60% of this book in Kindle .
What is history all about , if we have to go in time forward or backward and look from there , those meaningless actions committed by us , constitute this magic word called history .
Some branded as winner , some looser, but these are all in the hindsight . At present there is only Life unfolding itself as a blanket on top of time .
War and Peace by Tolstoy speaks about History , hence to comprehend history it speaks about people , the innumerable questions that every man faces , the solutions he arrives at to carry on living in this uncertain world . Any great work of art at some depths speaks about same age old questions and quagmire . The very same questions posed by the rig vedic saint , when he asked ‘what is this all about ? ‘
The novel is set in Russia around the time where Napoleon Bonaparte is making ambitious plans to conquer the whole world . He is rumored to be going to wage a war on Russia , and there is apprehension in the Russian aristocratic families . The novel broadly has two parallel themes and the dialectics between them . One major theme is the unending war that keeps happening and the subsequent impact it has on the family lives of five aristocratic families .
Tolstoy craft lies in able to bring in the major themes and in the same way speak in detail about even the minute characters . He can speak about how Napoleon was defeated by factors no one truly controlled , out of sheer fortuitousness , and also he can masterfully craft the love between Natasha and Anatole . Tolstoy can talk about the beauty of a water drop and the vastness of the ocean with similar poise .
War and Peace is not just a story of a single character or a life journey of a person . Its the story of time , time doesn’t brand someone as hero or a villain . War and Peace so much difference in its character , their lives . It also has ‘chance’ playing a vital role . Traditional historic novels we have read of are novels that speak about the bravery of a single king in winning a war . As if he was the whole guiding force behind the events that have unfolded . Tolstoy breaks this complete cliched narration , for instance on explaining the defeat of Napoleon at the hands of Russia in Moscow . He feels that no one really controlled , it was an act that happened by chance .
The ups and downs of the character Prince Andrew is the high point of the story . He starts of as an youthful and brave warrior . To attain the same greatness as Napoleon has achieved in the battlefield .Lying injured on the battlefield , the revelation of the absurdity of human actions while he sees the calm clouds passing in the blue sky .
The novel is filled with poetic experiences, the masterful and in-depth look into human psycology . For instance the characterization of Pierre in this Novel is another high point of Tolstoy powers of observation , his understanding of human behavior .
Tolstoy’s character continously thrives and seeks for the greater bliss , constantly hits dead ends . The novel shows a landscape of human behavior . We can laugh and cry at the various manifestations of life , travel with Tolstoy through this wonderful garden of life .