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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

Liza (Lise) Bolkonsky

Character Analysis

Liza is a pretty good example of how there just are no one-note characters in Tolstoy. She starts out as Andrei's gossipy socialite wife, and we at first totally sympathize with how annoying and trivial he finds her. But in a cool twist, the more we know about him, and how he's totally not into admitting that humans have bodies and those bodies have functions, the more we sympathize with Liza. After all, she's pregnant, and he ignores and is grossed out by this pregnancy, blames her for it, and then just dumps her on his crazy old dad and weirdo sister while he runs off to the army. And she tries to cover by being bubbly in public. Nice, dude. No wonder Andrei feels crazy-guilty when she dies, right?

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