Im doing my teaching diploma in Drama and one of the novels I am studying is War and Peace. I am finding it slightly difficult to understand it, so I was wondering if you could tell things like; whats your favourite character and why? any underlying themes? Just anything that will help me understand it a little bit better :) thanks
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Gradesaver has a complete study guide to help you with each of these questions. The study guide includes a plot summary, summaries and analysis for each chapter, as well as specific pages on characters, themes, ect. You can begin with the direct link I have provided below.
My background is in mathematics and I have only read War and Peace for leisure, (though it is by far my favorite novel), so, take this with a grain of salt. I absolutely love Pierre. He is one of my all-time favorite characters in literature. I love how human he is. He constantly struggles to find meaning in life in general, in his individual role in life, in balancing ideals with temptations. Although he is wealthy, his wealth never brings him happiness nor satisfaction. He clings to ideals as he finds them, including idolizing Napolean and his goals of the French Revolution (equality, liberty, fraternity)< he clings to the ideas of the Freemasons, (though is then dissolutioned and dissappointed in the hypocrisy of some of its members). He only truly finds happiness in the very end, through his marriage to Natalya and building a family with her. (I noticed a similar theme with the character of Levin in Anna Karanenina, that simple belief in God, honest work, and family life help one achieve happiness.)