Since the days of Pushkin, Russian literature has been able to disclose the psychology of man, his innermost thoughts and feelings.
Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy introduced into the psychology of Russian literature his discovery, called Chernyshevsky’s ability to transmit “the dialectic of the soul.” “People are like rivers,” Tolstoy said, emphasizing by this comparison the multifacetedness and complexity of the human personality, the variability and continuous movement, development, “fluidity” of people’s inner life.
According to Tolstoy, every result of human life is unintentional, elemental. The event is always attended by a multitude of differently directed aspirations and wills, they intersect and collide with each other. So,
What is the meaning of a person’s activity, his life’s efforts? These questions are solved by the whole novel “War and Peace”, with every episode of it. The path that the protagonists pursue in the novel is a search not by one mind, but by life, by the fate of answers to these main questions.
Very different Pierre Bezukhov and Andrei Bolkonsky, but each of them, each in his own way, has to pass through hard moral trials on his way, when it is necessary to solve the question of the meaning of one’s own life and its connection with the life of other people, with the objective order of things, and this question turns out to be so complicated and complicated that it seems impossible to solve it positively. In the element of human life with all its visible diversity and intricacy of attitudes, positions, points of view, goals, as in the abyss, is immersed in thought and soul
Pierre Bezukhov, to find out: is there a unifying principle, is there a law and a goal in this visible chaos? The unevenness, inconsistency of this picture of the world is the suffering with which Andrei Bolkonsky is passing through life. From the conversations of Pierre
Next to Pierre’s older friend, they blurred and loosened with their seemingly aimless philosophizing, with their questions: who was to blame, who was right. Prince Andrew talks with Pierre, as a man of action; he explains why he goes to war: “I’m going because this life, which I lead here, this life is not for me!” He talks about the hopes and forces that disappear in an empty secular existence.
Prince Andrew does not want to allow the randomness of life to control his fate. He believes in his high appointment, and thus he seems to have decided for himself the general question of the appropriateness of the world order and human life the main question that is investigated and elucidated by each line of LN Tolstoy’s novel. Prince Andrew believes in his star; he is not accidentally, without a goal thrown into the world, he believes that he was born for heroism and greatness. But he will have to face the clash of these illusions, perceived from the examples of other times, with the reality of his time, which complicated and confused human relations and everything that seemed clear recently, the notions of greatness, about deed, glory, about the meaning of human efforts.
Prince Andrew will later say about himself during a meeting with Pierre in Bogucharovo, that he lived for glory, that is, he lived for others. “After all, what is the glory? The same love for others, the desire to do something for them, the desire for their praise.” Prince Andrew initially focuses on this heroic canon; in his dreams the army finds itself in a desperate situation, and he alone falls down and wins the war just like in ancient traditions. But in reality the story has a more prosaic look. Bolkonsky will discover that the world glory of Napoleon is crowned by egoistic arbitrariness, and the real feat of the humble Captain Tushin will not be crowned with glory and will remain unknown.
Life will appear to him in the discrepancy between the visible and the present, and his own heroic aspiration in his real meaning and in its real consequences will be something not what he dreamed of. It will prove to be a proud detachment that separates it from the common destiny of people, instead of deciding this fate as befits a hero.
In the critical days of the campaign of 1805, when he made his way to the headquarters of his army, already doomed to defeat, Bolkonsky looked with contempt at the chaos that reigned, the shifting carts drowning in mud, the picture of the disorder, panic that engulfed the troops. He is offended by this picture, so she shows the contrast of his own heroic attitude: he goes to save the army. When the long-awaited moment of Toulon came, Andrei runs ahead with a banner and, wounded, falls with him. Then he sees Napoleon lying on the battlefield with the pole and says: “What a beautiful death!” However, the words of Napoleon come to the blurred rumor of Prince Andrew, like the buzzing of a fly, and the praise of Napoleon, yesterday’s idol, is no longer necessary to him. And now he, cast down on his back, Does not see anything around,
The heroic moment was filled with the most petty vanity that was offensive to him in life. Ambitious plans, dreams of Toulon and glory themselves were such a vanity sky Austerlitz now tells Andrew about it. The luminosity of official history and external heroism connected with it becomes apparent alongside the simple necessary moments of human life, the meanings of which to?