General Themes used by Leo Tolstoy
"The idea that prevails throughout all the works under consideration is that each individual's purpose and
meaning in life is different, and each person must find it. For some books, this is the predominant theme as well as the most
obvious. However, for most, it is simply an underlying idea. In whatever way it is presented, it holds true for every main
character in every novel. As previously stated, each character comes to terms with his or her existence over the course of
the book, although each in a different way. It is not, however, the same for every character. One person, for example Olenin
from The Cossacks, may find that happiness comes only from living for others."
General Themes found in War and Peace:
- The search for the meaning of life- Some
of the characters in War and Peace realize that life and existence is worthless and that nothing comes out of either
living a good life or living a life filled with struggle because in the end, the outcome does not matter. But, at the
same time he shows that love can bring meaning to one's life as is represented with the character Pierre and his love with
- Leadership and how far it should be taken- Tolstoy shows how leadership
should be limited by presenting characters from opposite sides of the social status and how leadership affects one's life.
Tolstoy gives an evaluation of princes and poor men and the result is not a happy one. Through this characterization Tolstoy's
philosophy on government and cynicism towards it can be seen.
- Love- War and Peace is filled with love dramas some that end up in good
times and some that did not turn out that well. These love impulses are unexplainable yet they continue to happen.