Study Help Essay Questions

1. Why do Tolstoy’s characters have to come to terms with death in order to understand life? (See “General analysis,” commentaries in Part 3.) 2. Discuss Tolstoy’s philosophy in terms of the “natural life” of the country and the unnatural life of the city. (See “General analysis” and commentaries in […]

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Leo Tolstoy Biography

Leo Nicolaevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) was the next to youngest of five children, descending from one of the oldest and best families in Russia. His youthful surroundings were of the upper class gentry of the last period of serfdom. Though his life spanned the westernization of Russia, his early intellectual and […]

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Character Analysis Count Vronsky

Implying Vronsky’s attractiveness as well as his rigidity, Stiva characterizes him as “a perfect specimen of Petersburg’s gilded youth.” Despite having intense interests — horse racing, politics, his regiment — Vronsky’s life depends on various self-gratifications. He has no inner core of identity as Levin has, for his career depends […]

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