I’m not one of those smug people who can proudly declare they’ve read 1225 pages long book “War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy, but I am one of millions of viewers who have been drawn in by 8 hours long movie adaptation of “War & Peace” by BBC.
Although the title of the book is “War and Peace”, I feel only part of it is about the war between French and Russia. From the movie adaptation, I feel the author’s true intention was to give us a philosophical teaching about the life, purpose, love, friendship, betray, revenge and all sorts of things in life through the stories of three Russian aristocratic families in that war era. The stories are quite dramatic, and the meanings they bring out are quite deep and significant. That’s why “War & Peace” stood the test of time in the literature history.
The characters who made big impressions on me are: Pierre, Andrei and Natasha.
Pierre is an awkward and very kind person, so kind that “there was no merit in his kindness.” He goes on a big self-evolving journey through a lot of highs and lows in his life. His wife cheated on him, and his friend betrayed him, but he still has a big heart for everybody and for life.
Price Andrei is tired of his upper class life style. He is disillusioned with everything and everyone. He is constantly searching for the meaning of his life. In the end, he tragically lost his life in the war.
Natasha is a romantic and naive young lady. She grows in love. She learns from the love. And she devotes her life to the love.
Some of Quotes I like From War & Peace:
- “We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”
- “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
- “If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
- “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”
- “Pierre was right when he said that one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and I now believe in it.”
- “You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.”
- “If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.”
- “We are asleep until we fall in Love!”
- “Everything I know, I know because of love.”
- “Because of the self-confidence with which he had spoken, no one could tell whether what he said was very clever or very stupid.”
- “How can one be well…when one suffers morally?”
- “Human science fragments everything in order to understand it, kills everything in order to examine it.”
- “Life did not stop, and one had to live.”
- “Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.”
- “As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal, a great deal before us.”
- “There will be today, there will be tomorrow, there will be always, and there was yesterday, and there was the day before…”
- “Life is everything. Life is God. Everything shifts and moves, and this movement is God. And while there is life, there is delight in the self-awareness of the divinity. To love life is to love God. The hardest and most blissful thing is to love this life in one’s suffering, in the guiltlessness of suffering.”
- “A battle is won by him who is firmly resolved to win it.”
- “Life is too long to say anything definitely; always say perhaps.”
- “Love hinders death. Love is life.”
- “Well, pray if you like, only you’d do better to use your judgment.”
- “Speech is silver but silence is golden.”
- “Chance created the situation; genius made use of it.”
- “When in doubt, my dear fellow, do nothing.”
- “He was always in a hurry to get where he was not.”
- We are conscious of the force of man’s life, and we call it freedom