Essay about The Works Of Leo Tolstoy And Fyodor Dostoevsky

1836 Words Dec 4th, 2016 8 Pages
The works of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky can be described as exercises in “soul-searching.” Both have a habit of exhibiting sympathy for their characters, providing little vignettes of life and lifelike figures and displaying the inner beauty and humanity in them. They advocate love for and brotherhood with one’s fellow man. This is a distinct contrast to the attitudes of many other Russians during the period in which the authors wrote, specifically the “logical” intelligentsia, many of whom were atheists, even nihilists. In both Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, an overdependence on logical reasoning is presented as a negative trait that ultimately leads to a lack of love for man, unhappiness, failure, and even madness. However, the mechanism behind logic leading to sorrow differs. Tolstoy presents logic as ultimately futile in an illogical world, whereas Dostoevsky primarily characterizes logic as a tool for rejection of all-important religious faith.
War and Peace contains a number of characters that could be classified as logical. Of these, the most explored is Pierre Bezukhov. He is desperate to find meaning and purpose, and initially pursues these goals through the application of reasoning. He spends a great deal of time posing questions to himself in his study, but finds that this results only in old, unsatisfying conclusions or none at all. He is generally unhappy in this period, and leading to heavy drinking, as “he felt…

Related Documents