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Analysis of Leo Tolstoy and his work "How Much Land Does A Man Need?"

Uploaded by rchs2002 on May 29, 2001

"How Much Land Does A Man Need?," by Leo Tolstoy was influenced by his life and times. Leo Tolstoy encountered many things throughout his life that influenced his works. His life itself influenced him, along with poverty, greed and peasant days in 19th century Russia.

Tolstoy's eventful life impacted his works. Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born into a family of aristocratic landowners in 1828 at the family estate at Yasnaya Polyana, a place south of Moscow. His parents died in the 1930s when he was very young so his aunts raised him with an upper middle class lifestyle. His aunts were very important to him and when they died, he made them live on forever as characters in his stories (Alexander 16). While his aunts were still alive, they hired tutors to teach him out of Tolstoy's home (Tolstoi). After a few years of wandering about Russia, he recommenced his studies at sixteen years old at Kazan' University to study law and oriental language but preferred to educate himself independently and in 1847, he gave up his studies without finishing his degree (Troyat 28).

His next fifteen years were very unsettled. Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to manage the family estate, with the purpose to improve himself intellectually, morally, and physically. After less than two years, though, he abandoned rural life for the pleasures of Moscow. In 1851, Tolstoy traveled to the Caucasus, a region then part of southern Russia, where his brother was serving in the army. He enlisted as a volunteer, serving with distinction in the Crimean War from 1853-1856 (Magill 382).

Tolstoy started his literary career in the 1850s during his army service. His genre of work includes novels, short stories, fiction, plays, nonfiction and letters. His first literary work was a trilogy; each section of the trilogy including a different part of growing up: Childhood, written in 1852, noted for a lyrical and charming picture of the innocence and joy of life through a child's eyes; Boyhood, written in 1854; and Youth, written in 1857. This trilogy focuses on the psychological and moral development of the hero from age ten to his late teens (Minitex).

A series of short stories followed, and when he left the military in 1856, he was acknowledged as a rising new talent in literature. Experiences in the Crimean War provided the material fir his three "Sebastopol Tales," which pay tribute to the common soldier...

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Uploaded by:   rchs2002

Date:   05/29/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   10 pages (2,352 words)

Views:   6081

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