Leo Tolstoy Essay

Submitted By Kavkaz09
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Pages: 8

The Life of Leo Tolstoy
Throughout history there have been many authors that have left a mark on this world. Some have changed our world for the better, while some have changed it for the worse. However, no one has created a mark quite like Tolstoy. Tolstoy was a skillful author, praised by almost every other novelist for his writing ability. However, this was not the source of his success. It was his compassionate view of the world that helped Tolstoy create such a tremendous impact on our culture. He once wrote: “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love” (Tolstoy).. Throughout his life, Tolstoy wrote many novels and short stories about violence, war and hate. However, the main propose of his work was to debunk the appeal of these subjects. Tolstoy believed in a society governed by love rather than violence and his habit of creating candid realism in his work helped him convert many people to his mind set. This man was determined to make the world a more compassionate place, and using his writing ability he succeeded.
It was August 28, 1828 when Tolstoy first got acquainted with the world. He was born in his parent’s estate named Yasnaya Polyana. After the death of his parents, Tolstoy lived an uneventful childhood living with his relatives of noble descent. He spent his days studying at home and making the physiological decisions that most boys face at boyhood. Little did he know that his experiences as a child would later become the inspiration behind his first novel, Childhood. Tolstoy decided to conceal his identity when publishing this work. It was published in the Russian literary journal named “Sovremennik” in 1852. Childhood was later followed by two more novels by Tolstoy. These novels were named Boyhood and Youth, published by the same magazine in 1854 and 1856, respectively. Serving as a quasi-autobiography, this trilogy gave readers the chance to learn about Tolstoy and to set an audience for his later, more ambitious novels. During the period in which he published his first three novels, Tolstoy also wrote the short story “The Raid” as well as a short story series that included “Sevastopol in December”, “Sevastopol in May” and “Sevastopol in August”. These works of fiction were nothing like Tolstoy's autobiographic novels. Instead, they told stories about fictional heroes in extremely realistic situations. A realistic setting complemented these realistic situations. “The Raid” setting is the Caucasus, a mountainous region in the border of Europe and Asia. The reason Tolstoy was able to create such a accurate depiction of this region was because he recently came back from the area. Being a brother of an army officer, Tolstoy was able to accompany the soldiers that attacked the natives of the Caucasian region. “The Raid” has been written shortly after he arrived back from his extraordinary trip. His trip has also inspired him to join the army himself. He first took part in the campaigns against the Caucasian tribes but soon was transferred in order to fight in the Crimean War. Sure enough, it was this war that inspired Tolstoy’s “Sevastopol” series. The series told the story of young soldiers as they experienced war and death. Written in the second person, Tolstoy managed to bring to his story a form of realism that was never seen before. The series was very successful and was even praised by the Tsar.
This naive author was in his twenties during the creation of this period, and most of his work still praised the privileged society he grew up in. It was not until his trip to Europe in 1857 that Tolstoy changed from a dissipated, young man to the self-proclaimed Christian anarchist that the world remembers. After already questioning his views during his service as a military man, Tolstoy has come across an event in his trip that transformed him forever. While visiting Paris, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution. These executions were not rare for the time, and most men…