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War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy


Platon Karataev

Platon Karataev

Platon Karataev

Platon Karataev

Though Platon Karataev makes only a brief appearance in a few chapters of this immense novel, he has won an admiration from readers and critics that has endured from the publication of War and Peace through the Soviet period and up to the present day. One of the few peasants in the novel to whom Tolstoy gives deep, individualized characterization, Platon represents the author’s ideal of the simple, life-affirming philosophy of the Russian peasantry (Platon is the Russian name for Plato, the Greek philosopher). Platon lives in the moment, forgetful of the past and oblivious of the future, to the extent that he cannot even remember what he said a few minutes earlier. His affinity with animals, like the little dog accompanying the Russian political prisoners, suggests that he too lives by instinct rather than by reason. He spouts Russian proverbs that resound with wisdom. Overall, this characterization of an extraordinarily happy human being contrasts sharply with Pierre, who has been depressed and confused for dozens of chapters when he meets Platon. Platon thus appears as a kind of answer to Pierre’s long spiritual questionings, living proof that the human search for contentment can be a successful one.

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Wrong answer

by sabinkamalinka, October 22, 2013

I am currently taking Russian Literature- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and I know for a fact that the chronology for War and Peace goes throughout 18th century! You should really consider changing the answer on the War and Peace quiz!

19th century begins in 1800

by tothetin, October 23, 2013

The events of War and Peace begin in 1805 and proceed to around 1812. The century that begins in the year 1800 is referred to as the 19th century.


2 out of 3 people found this helpful

Correction to plot summary, Book 12

by keepbabbling, April 27, 2014

"Natasha takes Mary into the room where Andrew is lying, and Mary is shocked to see her brother looking soft and gentle. Mary knows this appearance to be a sign of his approaching death."
Natasha tells Mary there has been a change recently in Andrew, and while Mary expects that means he has become soft and gentle because he is dying, she is shocked to find it is the opposite -- he has become hard and indifferent. His mind has became fixed on the next life and so he no longer has any emotions for anything in the current life.


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