Analysis Of Leo Tolstoy And His Work “how Much Land Does A Man Need?”

Sample essay topic, essay writing: Analysis Of Leo Tolstoy And His Work "how Much Land Does A Man Need?" - 1196 words

.. in loss of everything. Tolstoy uses the characters in his stories to reinforce his ideas (Kell 18).Tolstoy used symbolism in his stories to teach lessons and to convey messages. Tolstoy uses Pahom's race against the sun to symbolize Pahom's race against time and the race for his life. The lower the sun gets on the horizon; the symbolism that Tolstoy uses creates a sense of urgency and panic.

Pahom finally makes it to the place where he began, to claim his land, by the time that the sun sets, but as the reader comes to discover; Pahom dies upon his arrival. Tolstoy used this story to convey the moral that one should not try to exceed one's limitations. Leo Tolstoy encouraged communism and felt that capitalism was a great evil that had to be conquered in order to eliminate all social classes. In 'How Much Land Does A Man Need?,' Tolstoy's character, Pahom, works nonstop against the wealthy landowner who calls upon a steward to oversee her land. The steward forces Pahom to pay fines when his cattle stray upon the woman's property. Later on, when Pahom turns into the wealthy land owner that he before despised, he found himself acting the same way to people who's cattle strayed upon his own land and in turn, the people end up despising him. This story shows that the pursuit of wealth ultimately leads to misfortune and, in Pahom's case, death. As Tolstoy grew older, he realized his wealth and began to distance himself from the gains he had made from it

Tolstoy had feelings of responsibility that he had been born into an upper class lifestyle, when others had not been so fortunate, so he began his school for underprivileged peasant children. The fact that he had to set up a school for underprivileged children angered Tolstoy because he felt that if it had not been for Capitalism, there would be no deviation of classes and, therefore, there would not be a need to commence a separate school for the underprivileged society. A recurring theme in Tolstoy's writings is the Devil. In 'How Much Land Does A Man Need?,' the Devil recurs very often: as the Bashkir chief, as the guy(s) that tell Pahom about the great land(s), as an invisible creature, sitting upon the stove while Pahom and two women are having a conversation, and in a dream that Pahom has of getting his land. This story seems to follow along with many other themes in other stories of greed. One such mass of stories comes from the Bible, which is possibly where Tolstoy got his ideas for this story.

His love of communism and his rejection of his own wealth were, of course, influenced by his own simplified, Christian beliefs. While working on the later parts of Anna Karenina, Tolstoy began experiencing bouts of depression, which at times were so severe that he considered suicide. He was tormented by the need to find a meaning for his life that would not be annihilated by his death. His 'A Confession' describes this spiritual struggle and the solution he found: to practice what he saw as the essence of Christianity -- that is, universal love and passive resistance to evil in the form of violence. A series of religious writings amplified this new faith. In these, he urged people to live according to the dictates of conscience, which meant practicing universal love and living as far as possible by their own labor.

He also declared all forms of violence equally wrong, including war and the compulsion that the state uses against its citizens. In addition to moral philosophy, Tolstoy also wrote about urban poverty, aesthetics, vegetarianism, capital punishment, and the evils of alcohol. The ideas of many of these writings clashed with the dogmas of official religion (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) and were banned in Russia, but they were translated into many languages and became known around the world. Tolstoyan communities sprang up in Europe and the United States, and Yasnaya Polyana became a destination of pilgrimage for people from all walks of life. Tolstoy returned, eventually, to writing fiction, but with a growing audience of less educated people in mind. In the mid-1880s he wrote short stories, many of them based on fairy tales or religious legends. Written in a simple but expressive style, they were intended to convey his idea of ethical Christianity, but he also produced powerful and sophisticated pieces of fiction, such as "The Death of Ivan Ilich," and "Master and Man," which reflect his religious ideas. The heroes of these works are forced to re-examine their lives and values when they face death. Tolstoy himself tried to live by his simplified beliefs, living on his own labor, and giving up his material possessions.

His wife, however, did not share all of his beliefs, and their marriage shared under severe strain during their last years together. In 1910, relations between the two became so tense that Tolstoy decided to leave home for good. He contracted pneumonia while travelling and died at the small railway station of Astapovo. Literary realism reached its peak in Tolstoy's novels, but it is his penetrating psychological analysis that has had great influence on later literature. His moral and social teachings have also altered the course of the 20th century. Spiritual and political leader Mohandas Ghandi applied Tolstoy's ideas of passive resistance to British rule and helped win India's independence.

Ghandi's ideas, then, helped inspire Martin Luther King, Jr., in his struggle for racial justice in the United States. The most significant part of Tolstoy's legacy is his defense of the individual personality and conscience in a world where such issues as these are under attack (Magill 383).Works CitedAlexander, Peter. Leo Tolstoy Leopard Books, 1995. This book was helpful with history. Hall, G. K. Russian Authors Boston: G.

K. Hall & Comp. 1987. This book was helpful in noting Tolstoy's works. Kell, Melissa. Russian Literary Artists. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Frontage Press, 1997. This book had information on Tolstoy's family life."Leo (Nikolayevich) Tolstoy." Contemporary Authors. Minitex Statewide Database Access Program.

4-30-01. <<a href='http://www. rochester. us/century/media /media1.html'>http://www. rochester. us/ce ntury/media/media1.html.> This site was helpful to find out about Tolstoy's homeland."Leo Tolstoy." 19th Century Russian Literature. 29 April 2001 <<a href='http://www. russianlit. com/tolstoy. html'>h ttp://www. russianlit. com/tolstoy. html.> This site was important in finding main points of Tolstoy's life. Magill, Frank N. Magill's Survey of World Literature (c)1993 North Bellmore, New York: Salem Press, Inc., 1993. This book was important to find specific dates. Manor, Denis.

Tolstoy (c)1986 New York, New York, House Publishing. This book had lots of history about Tolstoy's background. Nitze, Paul H. & Foreword. The Complete Idiots Guide to Leo Tolstoy. London: Henry Z. Walck, 1994.

This book was helpful to explain Tolstoy's theories and psychological information in Tolstoy's works. Pearlman, E. Literary Works! Denver: Twayne Publishers, 1992. This book was good for miscellaneous information. Troyat, Henri/Amphoux, Nancy. Tolstoy (c)2000 Albany, New York: Grove Pr. Edition, 30/3/01.

This book was helpful to find Tolstoy's biography.

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