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War and Peace
War and Peace
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War and Peace Analysis
Literary Devices in War and Peace
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
There aren't too many symbols in War and Peace, which makes sense since the whole book is a long exercise in realistic storytelling. And really, how often do you come across some kind of symbolic o...
Napoleon's 1812 Campaign in RussiaLie down and pull up the blanket; Shmoop's going to tell you a story. Once upon a time France was a monarchy. King, queen, the whole deck of cards. Then, in 1789,...
Narrator Point of View
Imagine you've just met an elderly gentleman. Maybe you're out for a walk or something and he strikes up a conversation. He starts telling you a story about some friends of his, and you're pretty s...
Before we start digging into the tangled web that is this book as far as genre is concerned, let's ask Tolstoy what he himself thought about what he'd written. Well, how about it, Tolstoy – what...
One way to think about War and Peace is as a novel that's trying as hard as possible to tell you the truth. The truth about relationships, the truth about home life, the truth about the way boys an...
Because the book is a mishmash of genres, it makes sense that Tolstoy's writing style changes depending on what section he's working on. Whenever he launches into researched history mode, we get th...
What's Up With the Title?
OK, before we start unpacking the title, let's everyone take a deep breath. Relax. Imagine being in a happy place. Forget that this is War and Peace, the gold standard for long, complicated, classi...
What's Up With the Ending?
Here's how you know Tolstoy was a pretty clever dude. Back in the 19th century, writers were constantly complaining about how hard it was to end a novel. And with good reason. Think about it: you'r...
Look, we're not going to lie. There's a reason War and Peace has become the byword for extremely-long-and-difficult-work-of-fiction. Think of it as stair runs for your brain – there's definitely...
Teenagers in love, war on the horizon.Every character is forming some kind of inappropriate romantic relationship. Nikolai thinks he's in love with Sonya. Natasha professes her undying love for...
Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
Since War and Peace isn't really a novel, and since there are so many different genres mashed together into this work, we don't actually get a nice neat Seven Basic Plots deal. So we're just choosi...
Three-Act Plot Analysis
Pierre, Natasha, Andrei, Nikolai, and Marya are all connected to inappropriate partners, mostly because of their youth and general inexperience, and also because of their individual personality qui...
Although he wasn't illegitimate, and he had an older brother, Tolstoy grew up in a similar way to Pierre. He was orphaned as a young man and inherited a ton of money from his parents. At first he j...
OK, there isn't any full frontal here, but trust us, the book gets pretty explicit about the things people do for their sexual urges. But don't take our word for it. All you have to do is take one...
Laurence Sterne (1.1)Voltaire (2.1)Madame de Stael (4.2)Rousseau, "Of the Social Contract" (1.1)Caesar, The Gallic Wars (1.1)Mozart, "The Spring" (1.1)Rousseau, Julie ou la Nouvelle Heloise (1.1)Ka...
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