This essay examines the historical events that influenced author Leo Tolstoy.
This paper looks at how Russian history influenced the life and writing of novelist Leo Tolstoy. The author discusses the repressive atmosphere under Czar Nicholas I, the Russian economic system and military events, all which affected Tolstoy and his novels, such as “Anna Karenina” and “War and Peace.”
“During Leo Tolstoy’s lifetime (1828-1910), Russia and Europe went through a number of political and intellectual changes. Writing evolved from Romanticism to Realism during the period. As the term realism implies the realistic novelists like Tolstoy focused on observation and attention to detail. In Russia the czars retained absolute power by preventing the political and social changes that the Western European countries were experiencing. Intellectuals including Tolstoy led the effort toward reform. The reform efforts met with considerable resistance until the twentieth century. For the writers, retention of power by the czars meant repression of writing.”