Analysis of Leo Tolstoy and his work, The Death of Ivan Ilyich


After having read the introduction, I think there are certain key components that we have to keep in mind when reading the book. To start off with we see that Tolstoy grew up with no parents. “Leo displays the keen awareness of death that will haunt him throughout his life” (pg xi) I think this quote will really set the mood for the rest of the novel. Maybe this foreshadows that out of the five families struggling for survival they will be surrounded by death of their close ones just like Tolstoy. We also learn that War and Peace is written in  installments. I agree with Christina it is incredibly confusing to begin treading this novel and already be introduced to numerous characters. However, like you said I am just thankful for the character page list. Within the first chapter we are already introduced to the fact that war played a pivotal role in the novel. Just in the first chapter war dominates the conversations at the party. I also got the sense that Anna Pavlovna is one of those domineering people who likes to be in charge. We also know that she hosts a lot of parties and she is not found of Napoleon (she calls him the antichrist). We know that she is religious especially since she refers to Napoleon as the antichrist.  She talks a lot, but she does try to be helpful. For example she suggests that getting the younger one (of Prince Vassily’s kids) married to the youngest Bolkonsky daughter. Those are just some of the ideas I have come across thus far. Hopefully the book will get less confusing as we read and finally know who each character is and their relationship with one another.

– Alexis


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