War and Peace
War and Violence in Lone Survivor
This paper will talk about war, reality of violence, its impact or effects on the community covering the small up to large scale of the society. Also, my choice of film to give a reflection towards war that resulted to violence, and to jot down the consequence that affects the life of the community where war took in.
The Definitions of Violence and War
Violence has a broad meaning that comprised many categories, examples are physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural and many more (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador). But, in a general term, violence is defined as used of physical force that intends to injure, kill, destroy, abuse, damage and form of aggression towards other or oneself. Moreover, as defined by WHO or World Health Organization it is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.
War is a state of armed conflict between states, government, societies, rebels, terrorist, mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. This generally involves the use of weapons, military and soldiers of a state against another states or other party. Like violence, there are also types of wars, the following are Civil War, Wars between States, Guerrilla Warfare, Total War, Limited War, Trench Warfare, Attrition Warfare, Conventional Warfare, Air Warfare, and Naval Warfare. But I think the most common war can be War between States.
I have defined the definition of War and Violence, consequently there are effects of the aftermath, those can be mass destruction of cities and communities, there’s also a long lasting effect such as on country’s economy in means of rebuilding the infrastructures, payment for the weapons used providing public health, and social order. Furthermore, I will discuss the film of my choice and how this film relevant to the topic of war or violence.
The film that I have chosen is the Lone Survivor, this movie is based on a true story, written in a book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. The Lone Survivor, tells the narration of the story of Luttrell’s survival in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, Luttrell was the only survivor among the members of Operation Red Wings, Luttrell is an elite member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Unit or also known as Navy SEAL’s. There are four Navy SEAL’s that are deploy out on a mission to Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, their goal was the disruption of anti-coalition, militia activity in the region of Kunar in order to further aid the stabilization efforts of the region. As part of the mission the four Navy SEAL’s are to surveil in order to establish the location of the Taliban Commander named Ahmad Shah, also they have the order to capture and kill the Taliban Commander. Ahmad Shah is believed to be responsible to the death of over twenty United States Marine, that lead for the four Navy SEAL’s mission to kill Ahmad Shah.
The mission took place deep inside the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, the four members of Navy SEAL’s are Marcus Luttrell, Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson, and Michael Murphy were dropped off via helicopters a few miles away from the village of Shah and his army ranging more or less a hundred of Taliban fighters. The four travelled by foot across the mountain then settled to survey and observed the village. Not long after the insertion of the four Navy SEAL’s the mission was compromised by the three goat herders, leaving the four with no choice but came out of their hidden positions and detained the three goat herders, now the team faced a difficult decision to make, either they kill the locals or free them. Whatever their decision will be it will be bound with consequences. Being unsure of what to do, Dietz, the communication operator decided to contact back the head quarters in good faith of having an order whether to kill or not to kill the herders but unfortunately due to a weak signal they cannot get in touch with them.
The four started to debate on what to do, Axelson wants to kill them but Luttrell is against the idea, although Dietz agrees on Axelson, while Murphy, their leader kept quiet and continues to listen to the three’s bickering, I really can’t blame Murphy, as what he is about to decide is a tough call it is even an impossible decision to make. However, he has to decided to terminate the mission since it is already compromised and let go the goat herders, and move locations to reassess their options, he ordered Dietz to contact back the headquarters, that he is extracting the mission, deciding to go home, leaving the three to say “roger that sir”.
While, waiting for the helicopter that will take them back to the headquarters, suddenly there are villagers that are surrounding them, there are more than thrice of their number making them outnumbered. Their leader, Murphy whispered to them that they are about to get contact, I analyzed Murphy’s statement as worst is about to come so they have to be prepared for whatever will happen to them. A minute later, shots begun to fly towards their direction and them shooting back as their only defense since as mentioned they are outnumbered. As the helicopter came, the four men’s ultimate goal now is to reach where the helicopter will land, but the helicopter was shoot down by the Taliban’s army.
There are misfortunate events that happens in our life just like this mission, during the exchange of fires the Taliban army has successfully killed the three Navy SEAL soldier but fortunately left one survivor and that is Luttrell. Luttrell was discovered by a local Pashtun Villager and took him home, the villagers of Pashtun protected Luttrell from the Talibans’, and later on Luttrell was then rescued by the American Soldiers. I cannot imagine what has Luttrell been through, losing three brothers in a battle and leaving him as the only survivor, I am sure that pain is an understatement, but there is a saying that “life must go on” and Luttrell’s life did move forward, he was able to write the story of their mission.
In conclusion, the relevance of this film from the issues or problems from the handout of dismantling the culture of war is Wars: cycle of violence and counter-violence, as mentioned Navy SEAL’s are deployed on a mission to kill Ahmad Shah in return the sent army’s are killed then the cycle goes on. The hopeful action for this issue or problem is through disarming groups and talk in peace, pursuing a diplomatic resolution of crises instead of going back to cycle of violence. Also, to avoid its consequences like the impact on the community and the locals, like in the film the Pashtun Villagers become a collateral damage as they protect Luttrell from the Taliban’s, so it is safe to say that all dispute must be talk out in a peace manner.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: a Depiction of Russia in the Nineteenth Century
“Be the light in the dark, be the calm in the storm, and be the peace while at war”(Tolstoy). This is exactly what Tolstoy illustrates all throughout his novel as he portrays a realistic fictitious story about the Napoleonic Wars.
This novel is during the early 19th century and first takes place in St.Petersburg around 1805. During the time, the British and the Russian signed the Treaty of Saint Petersburg in order to create an alliance against Napoleon and was later joined by Sweden. The book only continues till 1812 which illustrated Napoleon’s failure to take control of Russia. All throughout the book, Tolstoy illustrates the alliances (especially focusing on the Russians) and how they were able to defeat Napoleon and in the end, found the light and peace during the hard times and struggles.
He starts off by describing the day and the life of the aristocrats living in Russia. He later goes on by describing the Bezukhov, Bolkonskys, and the Rostovs (Russian “aristocrats”) in further detail and their personal relationships. He illustrates throughout his 1200 page novel about the 100 different characters and how they managed to find the light in the darkness or the peace in the war. Napoleon’s invasion of Russia was a turning point in the Russian families. Tolstoy constantly illustrates the tough struggles that the Russian families faced as a result of France advancing. By illustrating poverty and ruined relationships/alliances, Tolstoy sets a very depressing mood and tone in the middle of the novel. However, Tolstoy does this in order to set a great contrast in how the characters were all able to find the light in the darkness toward the end. The novel ends with Tolstoy illustrating how their successful families and close relationships were a reward for enduring and persevering through all the hard wartimes.
Tolstoy has a very clear depiction of life in the early 19th century, despite the fact that the events occurred about 60 years before. Tolstoy spoke with people living during 1805 and read really primary source letters to accurately develop his realistic thoughts about the war. Moreover, his experience in the Crimean War around 1850s also sparked his close illustrations and imagery of the war. Leo Tolstory wrote War and Peace to ensure that we as a society could still find the peace in war despite all of our struggles. War and Peace, a realistic fiction novel, accurately depicts the political and economic conflicts that arose in the early 19th century due to Tolstoy’s primary experience during the Crimean War, his face to face conversations with first hand witnesses, and his readings on primary source documents.
Great Gatsby and War and Peace:what Do They Have in Common?
I will discuss during the course of this essay the above theme in the two following books – The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and War and Peace, written by Leo Tolstoy. Much has been written in each of the two books on this theme. Very briefly I will describe how. . .
The Great Gatsby is a book with a main character who is almost disgustingly rich, and possesses an almost inhuman ability to focus on one thing throughout his life – the accumulation of vast quantities of money this is his love for a female character who is known by the name of Daisy throughout the book War and Peace “Up to now historical science in its relation to humanity’s inquiry is like money in circulation – bank-notes and coin. The biographies and national histories are the paper money. They may pass and circulate and fulfil their function without mischief to anyone, and even to advantage, so long as no question arises as to the security behind them. One has only to forget to ask how the will of heroes produces events and the histories of Thiers and his fellows will be interesting, instructive and not without their touch of poetry. But in exactly the same way as doubts of the real value of bank-notes arise either because, being, easy to manufacture, too many of them get made, or because people try to exchange them for gold, so doubts concerning the real value of histories of this kind arise either because too many of them are written or because someone in the simplicity of his heart inquires: What force enabled Napoleon to do that? – that is, wants to exchange the current paper money for the pure gold of true understanding.
The writers of universal histories and the history of culture are like people who, recognising the defects of paper money, decide to substitute for it coin of some metal inferior to gold. Their money will be ‘hard coin’, no doubt; but while paper money may deceive, the ignorant coin of inferior metal will deceive no-one. Just as gold is gold only where it is employable not merely for barter but also for the real use of gold, so too the universal historians will only rank as gold when they are able to answer the cardinal question of history: What constitutes power? The universal historians give contradictory replies to this question, while the historians of culture thrust it aside altogether and answer something quite different. And as imitation gold counters can only be used among a community of persons who agree to accept them for gold or who are ignorant of the nature of gold, so the universal historians and historians of culture who fail to answer the essential questions of humanity only serve as currency for sundry purposes of their own – in the universities and among the legions who go in for ‘serious’ reading, as they are pleased to call it.” “Though he was the most absent minded and forgetful of men, with the aid of a list his wife drew up he had bought everything, not forgetting his mother – and brother-in-law’s commissions, nor the presents of a dress for Mademoiselle Byelov and toys for his nephews. In the early days of marriage it had seemed strange to him that his wife should expect him to remember all the items he had undertaken to buy, and he had been taken aback by her serious annoyance when he returned after his first absence, having forgotten everything. But in time he had grown used to this.
Knowing that Natasha never asked him to get anything thing for herself, and only gave him commissions for others when he himself volunteered, he now found an unforeseen and childlike pleasure in this purchase of presents for the whole household and never forgot anything. If he incurred Natasha’s censure now, it was only for buying and spending too much. To her other defects (as most people thought them but which to Pierre were virtues) of untidiness and neglect of herself Natasha certainly added that of thriftiness.
From the time that Pierre set up as a family man on a scale entailing heavy expenditure he had noticed to his astonishment that he spent only half as much as in the past, and that his circumstances, somewhat straitened latterly (mainly owing to his first wife’s debts) were beginning to improve. Living was cheaper because it was circumscribed: that most expensive of luxuries, the sort of life which allows of going somewhere else or doing something different at a moment’s notice, was his no longer, nor did he have any desire for it. He felt that his manner of life was determined now, once and for all, till death, and that to alter it was not in his power, and so that order of life proved economical. With a jovial, smiling face Pierre was unpacking his purchases. ‘What do you think of this?’ he cried, unrolling a length of material like a shopman. Natasha, who was sitting opposite him with her eldest daughter on her knee, turned her sparkling eyes from her husband to the things he was showing her. ‘Is that for Mademoiselle Byelov? Splendid!’ She felt the quality of the material. ‘A rouble a yard, I suppose?’ Pierre told her the price. ‘Very dear,’ remarked Natasha. ‘However, how pleased the children and maman will be! Only you shouldn’t have bought me this,’ she added, unable to suppress a smile as she admired the gold comb set with pearls, in a style just then coming into fashion.” The Great Gatsby ” ‘He’s a bootlegger,’ said the young ladies, moving somewhere between his cocktails and his flowers. ‘One time he killed a man who had found out that he was nephew to Von Hindenburg and second cousin to the devil.
Reach me a rose, honey, and pour me a last drop into that there crystal glass.’ ” “There was music from my neighbour’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor boats slit the water off the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On weekends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered past like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shear repairing the ravages of the night before.
Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York – every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred fleet of canvas and enough coloured lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a darts gold. In the main hall a bar with real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another.”
A Main Message of War and Peace
War and Peace
With the world more peaceful than ever, it is hard to look at times of war and think that they were handled properly and diligently. Looking at situations of war and peace, it is clear that humans tend to conflict with one another often, which can sometimes sizzle down to faded grudges or boil up to full on wars. The cause of wars is usually complicated and dense, but few major factors usually point to the direction of war. Thing like greed, jealousy and power all tend to steer nations in to conflicts, but the reality is that wars are complicated and unpredictable. The unpredictability of war is something that should be well know, as no one can simply assume an outcome or predict a victor. Moreover, the mistakes people made in the past teach lessons in the future, like those discussed by Robert McNamara in Errol Morris’ film, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. Within the dense storyline and compelling arguments, McNamara offers eleven lessons on war and how to strategize properly. Within McNamara’s copious advice lies perhaps the most compelling statement in the whole film, which is lesson number nine.
Within Lesson 9 lies the ultimate truth which is that in order to do good, you may have to engage in evil (Morris 01:20). This ever so important truth is one that makes sense outside of all aspects of war and peace. The reality is that this applies to life in general and thus easily conforms towards the three documentary films, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, directed by Rory Kennedy, The Look of Silence, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, and The Act of Killing which was also directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. Within all films, the concept of evil for good arises and the plotlines and individual histories tell the same stories of balance and overall morality. Beginning with The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, it is easy to see the connections to morality in the decisions of the prison guards and US government. The best scene to examine for this would have to be where the truth leaks out, and it is discovered that torture was actually being conducted in the prison (Kennedy 1:10). In the scene, some viewed the whistleblower as a hero and others as an enemy, as the morality behind torture is foggy and conflicted at best. The reality of this is that in the opinion of those men and women, sometimes torture is needed to gather crucial information or stop certain behaviors. While an argument can be made both supporting and prohibiting torture, the moral understanding depends on the person asked. It is clear though, that as an action, the morally ambiguous methods used may fall under an evil pretense. While the entire Iraq war may have been considered evil in and of itself, the truth is that torturous activities within the war could have very well led to proper information or some sort of success. While it seems immoral, lesson nine makes sense, as evil is sometimes needed to influence the ultimate good. Now looking at Oppenheimer’s films, The Look of Silence, and the Act of Killing, one might be less likely to agree with the methods. As a companion piece, Oppenheimer’s two films educate and entertain the viewer about the Indonesian genocide of 1965-1996. Within the documentaries, the sad reality of internal genocide comes to the center stage, presenting to the audience the horrible events that occurred during the fight against communism. Within The Look of Silence, the viewers follow a traveling optometrist whose brother was killed in the genocide. This man, who remains anonymous seeks answers as to how men were and still are so accepting of these mass killings and travesties. The true gory nature of the film comes alive most in the scene where two men walked the path they took during the genocide, laughing and feeling nostalgic over the killings they executed (00:30). The sick and twisted reality of the situation is that the men felt they did no wrong. Within the film, the people who tortured, killed, and abused ‘communists’ were proud of their achievements and truly believed they were doing the country a service. Looking at their point of view, what they did was a public service needed to rid the county of those who want to harm it. As the war on communism advanced, more and more were killed either from genuine fear of the ideology or just for sport. Looking at Oppenheimer’s other film, The Act of Killing, the men in focus are so proud of their services that they attempt to recreate them for amusement and nostalgia. While the actions they performed where heinous and unforgivable, the men observed all found justification within themselves to do evil for the greater good of their country. The scene that best captures this is in the beginning of the film, where they recruit women and children to act as civilians begging for mercy (00:05). The fact that the entire village is numb to the deaths of thousands and is willing to reenact the terrible parts of history speaks toward the main point, which is that they think they did good. Since the entire situation for both Oppenheimer films occurs in Indonesia, it is only fair that the view be from said location. The unfortunate reality is that to truly defeat communist, Indonesia had to do as it did, and practice evil. In the end, evil actions and techniques were used to come to the common good and peace that Indonesia expected, but the truth is that no one new any good would come out ultimately, as wars are completely unpredictable.
As Errol Morris’ lessons from Robert McNamara end at eleven, looking at the films watched could lead one to a new lesson not discussed. Examining the films The Fog of War, directed by Errol Morris, No End in Sight, directed by Charles Ferguson, and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, directed by Rory Kennedy, one can see that they share many themes and situations. Most of all, they all share unpredictability. The truth behind war and peace is that outcomes can never be predicted. In the three films stated, as well as many times in life, situations that are predicted to go one way shift, throwing everything out of place. In The Fog of War, McNamara discusses his life and the Cold War, where unpredictability reigned supreme. In a time of pure tension and anticipation, two superpowers were prepared to battle. As the United States and Russia flexed their powerful muscles, the world thought that war was inevitable. The reality was of course that tensions never rose to violent conflicts. As stated in the film, Americans at the time expected that at any moment the USSR could attack, and that was just normal (Morris 00:25). The fortunately misguided opinions of the nation were disproven as the two superpowers settled down to avoid conflict while everyone was left surprised. The true unpredictability of the cold war was one of the main reasons that so much tension built up in the country, and no one knew exactly how to speculate the future. Looking at a separate conflict, in No End in Sight, Ferguson discusses the Iraq war and how the United States assumed they could just fix it all. The truth of course is that Iraq was much harder to handle than the U.S. had speculated. While in the Cold War America looked for the worst and received safety, the Iraq War was the polar opposite. As shown by Ferguson, the Americans had no experience in Iraq, and sent people to run the nation who did not speak the language or care for the culture (Ferguson 00:50). This unforgivable mistake led to the eventual fall of American power in the country, as minorities all over Iraq searched for real leadership and people who cared. The clear mistreatment of Iraqis in the country was again to blame, as the American forces abused their power and disregarded all consequences. Looking at The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, directed by Rory Kennedy one can see the mistreatment continue. As discussed, the mistreatment and torture of men in the Abu Ghraib prison was something that Americans engaged in to gather information and expand their power. In the end though, the Americans left with little accomplished. At the end of the film, when one of the guards asks himself if his immorality was worth it, the true nature of the film seeps out (Kennedy 01:20). While engaged in all the immoral activities of war, it is hard to remember the consequences and realities of actions, which makes it hard to see the end. Not seeing the end of war is a dangerous and destructive tendency, as one may forget the reasons the war came into existence and how to end it. In Iraq, precisely this happened, and while Americans got carried away, the country slipped out of U.S. fingers. While few could predict an overall failure in Iraq, those who did could teach the lesson that war is unpredictable.
In conclusion, one must always search for lessons when contemplating the past, as history teaches and shapes the world that humans inhabit. By looking for lessons in war and peace, one can understand how to process different situations and events. Whether the lesson is that in order to be good, one must engage in evil, or that outcomes can never be predicted, learning is a priority. With all the conflicts and wars that have happened, many lessons have emerged and coincide with other situations, but those that do remain eternal. Looking ahead, the chaos in the world today will undoubtable be recorded in history, and lessons will be taught from the mistakes that humanity makes. With the world constantly in conflict, it seems that more and more people need to look at history to realize that at this point, war is just getting repetitive.
The purpose of war is peace
‘The purpose of war is peace’ quoted by Pablo Escobar Pablo Escobar December 1949 – 2 December 1993) was a Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist. His cartel supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States at the height of his career, turning over US $21.9 billion a year in personal income He was often called “The King of Cocaine” and was the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated known net worth of US $30 billion by the early 1990s (equivalent to about $56 billion as of 2017) making him one of the richest men in the world in his prime.
Escobar was born in Rionegro, Colombia and grew up in nearby Medellín. He studied briefly at Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana of Medellin but left without a degree; he began to engage in criminal activity that involved selling contraband cigarettes and fake lottery tickets, and he participated in motor vehicle theft. In the 1970s, he began to work for various contraband smugglers, often kidnapping and holding people for ransom before beginning to distribute powder cocaine himself, as well as establishing the first smuggling routes into the United States in 1975. His infiltration to the drug market of the U.S. expanded exponentially due to the rising demand for cocaine and, by the 1980s, it was estimated that 70 to 80 tons of cocaine were being shipped from Colombia to the U.S. monthly. His drug network was commonly known as the Medellín Cartel, which often competed with rival cartels domestically and abroad, resulting in massacres and the murders of police officers, judges, locals, and prominent politicians.
In 1982, Escobar was elected as an alternate member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia as part of the Liberal Alternative movement. Through this, he was responsible for the construction of houses and football fields in western Colombia, which gained him notable popularity among the locals of the towns that he frequented. However, Colombia became the murder capital of the world, and Escobar was vilified by the Colombian and American governments.
In 1993, Escobar was shot and killed in his hometown by Colombian National Police, one day after his 44th birthday.
The Role of Liza’s Character in War and Peace
Over 1300 pages long, Tolstoy’s War and Peace presents characters who disappear as quickly as they appeared. But every single one of them has a particular significance in the broader themes that War and Peace displays, whether that theme be love, society, personal identity, or truth. Though she fades from the narrative eventually, Liza Bolkonskaya, Prince Andrei’s wife, serves as a very important character in many aspects: she offers a foil for Pierre’s relationship with Helen, she is the bridge between rural and urban, and she develops the theme of forgiveness through Andrei. Especially important is her role as the wife of Andrei and the significance that this status has for War and Peace. Through her relationship with Andrei and her death, Liza helps to show why sexual love should not be chosen compared to other, “truer” forms of love. Indeed, Tolstoy portrays different types of relationships, from those that are purely physical, to those that appear completely fake, to those that seem to be perfect. Liza’s role, in all this, is to help us better understand why sexual love might be less preferable than spiritual love.
Liza, or the “youthful little Princess Bolkonskaya,” (8) appears as one of the first characters of the novel, before Andrei’s introduction in Chapter IV. Tolstoy labels her “the most seductive woman in Petersburg” (8) and makes every effort to make her seem like an innocent, unassuming, beautiful woman. Liza is the social butterfly of Petersburg, adored by everyone, except her husband. Andrei seems to be extremely bored by her, turning his face away from her, “with a grimace that distorted his handsome face” (15). There is no clear-cut explanation at first as to why Andrei is not extremely fond of her, other than the fact that she does not seem to be particularly intelligent or interesting, according to him. Later on, Tolstoy hints at the fact that he has changed since Liza has become pregnant and points out that this could be a reason for him distancing himself. Given this, the reader starts to sympathize with her, making her one of the only “like-able” characters, particularly compared to Prince Vasili or Anna Pavlovna.
Through her link with Andrei and her presence in the outside world, Liza acts as a bridge between different sets of worlds, making her one of the most important minor characters. The first of these is the world of the social elite, in contrast to that of those who want no part of it (Anna, Vasili versus Andrei, Pierre). Liza brings these two spheres together, as she is inherently part of the first and is in contact with the second through Andrei. She is one of the only characters who has this position: the two worlds do not have many overlapping characters beyond her. Indeed, if we consider the rest of Tolstoy’s characters, all members of the Rostov family are extremely social and people-oriented; Pierre, on the other hand, is part of the elite but cannot fit into it. Liza is also the connecting point between the rural and the urban scenery. Indeed, she loves the urban setting of Petersburg and feels very confident there, but as Andrei goes to war, he sends her to live at his family estate, outside of the city. She reproaches Andrei for locking her up alone in the country, but through sending her there, she brings together those two worlds. Other characters who are associated with a rural background stay there throughout the whole novel (Count Bolkonskaya, Maria) and those associated with the urban setting of Petersburg either stay there or shuttle between there and Moscow. It can be argued that Andrei also acts as such a connecting person, but the link is less clear since he moves around in between, as a result of his being enlisted in the war. Though Liza couples the two sets of opposing worlds together, she is unable to bridge the gap between sexual and non-sexual love as it relates to Andrei. Through this inability, Liza serves as an example of the consequences of primarily sexual love, consequences that might even be worse than those of fake social interactions.
Indeed, an essential theme of the novel is the intersection of women, love, and lust. Tolstoy takes after Plato to show the different types of love that exist, ranging from those that are purely physical to those that are much more spiritual. With the variety of characters that Tolstoy presents to us, he demonstrates how a relationship of lust, a relationship of love, or an arranged relationship can play out. Liza fits into this topic to show Tolstoy’s view on sexual relationships, which can be defined as relationships that have an element of physical intimacy to them, either from the start or after a period of development. Liza and Andrei’s relationship can fall into this category since there is no more psychological, love connection between them: thus, all that remains from their relationship is a child, the result of a physical intimacy. There are other relationships like this one, which can be qualified as only sexual, and Tolstoy uses these relationships to show what a “wrong” relationship is. Consider for example that of Natasha and Anatole. In their case, the relationship is clearly wrong as it causes Natasha extreme pain and guilt and reveals Anatole as a soulless person. For Pierre and Helene, it is not their own sexual relationship that causes trouble, but rather the fact that Helene is sexually attracted by other men and possibly cheats on Pierre. However, Liza and Andrei’s relationship is particularly important because Tolstoy pushes the idea further by showing how their sexual intimacy is not only wrong, but can also hinder something positive that was in place before. Indeed, their sexual intimacy that resulted in a child has made Andrei grow distant, making the princess think that he does not “feel for [her]” (29). She even adds that, during her pregnancy, Andrei has “very much changed” (29) and now treats her like a child (a fact underscored by the many uses of the word “childlike”). Liza feels that this is why he is deserting her by going to war. By doing so, Andrei is running away from his commitment as a father. Even after Liza’s death, that trend continues as Andrei fails to take care of his son.
Furthermore, Tolstoy depicts the wrongdoings of sexual intimacy through the princess’s death. Though death during childbirth was fairly common at the time depicted in the novel, the gloominess surrounding it (given Andrei’s discontentment with his marriage and the preemptive negative feelings that the princess was having towards having her child in the countryside) makes it that much more significant. Tolstoy gives us much detail when depicting the death of Liza, saying “She was lying dead, in the same position he had seen her in five minutes before and, despite the fixed eyes and the pallor of the cheeks, the same expression was on her charming childlike face with its upper lip covered with tiny black hair.” (351) The repetition of Andrei’s reaction that “he was guilty of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget” (351) seems to indicate a sort of daunting aspect to the way Liza died. By presenting Liza as this sort of martyr, Tolstoy wants to show the dangers of sexual intimacy as the main basis for a relationship. To the question that Liza’s face asks, “what have you done to me?” (351), the underlying answer is that she has been exposed to merely sexual love. In comparison, the true love path could be that of Nikolai and Maria, who is extremely religious and pure, or of Pierre and Natasha, who both had to go through moral dilemmas in order to find peace together.
War and Peace is a novel of characters struggling to find both themselves and a greater truth. A way to accomplish all this, it seems, is to access a form of pure, untarnished love, one that comes from a spiritual connection. Liza serves as a martyr to show the effects of sexual love: by detailing the guilt and the apologies that Andrei expresses, Tolstoy prepares the reader for the more satisfying love connections that evolve as this massive novel moves along.
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
How Peace Can Be Achieved After War
Peace is generally considered to always be a direct result of warfare. However, this will not always be the case. By evaluating two case studies, namely the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Persian Gulf War, through the analysis of sources, it can be seen that sometimes, war does not end with tranquility.
Let us look at the Bangladesh Liberation War. To summarize this event simply, it was, as the name suggests, a fight between for the freedom of Bangladesh from Pakistan, which was known at the time as East and West Pakistan respectively, which began in March 1971 and ended with the surrender of Pakistan in December 1971. Since the subject of this war was Bangladesh, in order to evaluate whether peace was achieved after the Bangladesh Liberation War, we must analyze sources that address the state in Bangladesh in the months and years following the war.
The first source that will be analyzed is an article from the website of the Encyclopedia Britannica entitled “Bangladesh since Independence”. It presents a third-person perspective on the major events in Bangladesh from 1972 till 2010. It states that “[in] January 1972”, a month after the surrender of Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was “installed as the first prime minister of the new parliamentary government of Bangladesh”. However, on 15th August 1975, he “was assassinated along with most of his family.” The source states that “right-wing pro-Pakistan army officers were behind the killing” and “some politicians were involved in the conspiracy”. The source also states that there were “paramilitary forces, known as Razakars, which supported the Pakistani cause”. These troops killed many Urdu speakers, who were the minority. Hence, from this source, it can be seen that in the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War, chaos and bloodshed was prominent, not peace.
The Encyclopedia Britannica is a fact-checked general knowledge encyclopedia, and its articles are written by a team of editors and experts, and all edits made to its online site, from which I found this article, are reviewed and checked multiple times before they are approved by the Encyclopedia Britannica professional staff. This source was also written after the conflicts were over by a third party for the sole purpose of education, so based of it context, it should a trustable source. Hence, this article is reliable.
The second source is an article posted on a website on Bangladesh Development Studies on the 5th of September, 2011. It also presents a third-person perspective and discusses that state Bangladesh was in after the war, from 1972 to 1975. This source also states that after gaining sovereignty, Bangladesh was ruled by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In addition, it brings up additional information that “higher authorities depended on the anti-liberation elite class”, so “they intentionally misguided [Mujibur and his government] and made them unpopular within very short” time. This source also reinforces the fact that “[in] August 1975, Mujibur, and most of his family members, were assassinated by… pro-Pakistani army officers”. Hence, from this source, it can also be seen that peace was not achieved in Bangladesh in the years following the Liberation War.
However, this article, unlike the previous source, was not written by a group of experts. It was written by a man by the name of Shuza Uddin, who I cannot find much about apart from the fact that he graduated from the Dhaka University of International Relations in Bangladesh. He also seemed to have only cited Wikipedia as his source. Hence, the reliability of an article written by him is questionable. Furthermore, as Shuza Uddin is from Bangladesh, he might have exaggerated the information on the source. Thus, this source is not fully reliable.
Next, let us study the Gulf War, or as it is sometimes referred to as, the Persian Gulf War. On August 1990, Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, invaded neighboring country Kuwait. On 29 November 1990, the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of military force against Iraq if it did not withdraw from Kuwait by the January 15. When Saddam Hussein did not comply, U.N. forces, known as Operation Desert Storm, went in and war broke out. The war lasted till 28 February that year, when US President George H.W. Bush declared a ceasefire. Since the subject of this war was the Gulf region, in order to evaluate whether peace was achieved after the Gulf War, we must analyze sources that address the state in the region in the months and years following the war, especially in Iraq.
The first source that will be analyzed is an article entitled “Persian Gulf War” on the History Channel website. It discusses about the issues before, during and after the war, but only be the situation after the war will be studied. The source states that “in the immediate aftermath of the war, Hussein’s forces brutally suppressed uprisings by Kurds in the north of Iraq and Shi’ites in the south.” It also states that Iraqi forces also regularly “exchanged fire with U.S. and British aircraft” “patrolling and mandating a no-fly zone” over Iraq. In addition, the source brings up the fact that the “US issued an ultimatum on 17 March 2003 demanding that Saddam Hussein step down from power and leave Iraq within 48 hours” without the prior consultation with the U.N, which Hussein refused. This led to the Iraq War beginning three days later. Hence, as there was an evident presence of conflict in Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War, it can be seen that peace was not achieved.
Articles on the History Channel website, just like the episodes broadcasted worldwide on the channel itself, are written and checked by a team of experts and professional historians, and the History Channel been recognized by the public globally to be one of the most reliable sources of historical information in the media. Furthermore, the information in the source was written long after the war was over and for the sole purpose of education, although the History Channel is an American television network and America was one of the key players in the Gulf War and its aftermath. Hence, this is a reliable source.
The second source that will be studied is the front page of an issue of Bangor Daily News, an American newspaper. It was published on Tuesday, 20 March 2003, the day the Iraq War started. The headline reads “It’s War” and the subheading reads “US launches surgical strike on Iraq”. This shows that war has broken out. One of the headlines of the articles in the issue also reads “US seeks to knock out Saddam’s protectors”. It can be seen from these lines that in the fallout of the Gulf War and the detestation the United States had for Saddam Hussein leadership, the United States of America had declared war on Iraq. The headline of the cover story also reads “Bush: ‘No outcome but victory’”, displaying the sheer amount of resentment the US had for Saddam while, at the same time, foreshadowing the amount of bloodshed this war will cause. Hence, since the Gulf War led to another war, it is evident that peace was not achieved.
All in all, it would appear from the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Gulf War that peace cannot be achieved from war. However, in my opinion, it is not possible to draw a conclusive argument, as whether or not peace can be achieved after war depends heavily on the context behind the war and the parties involved. For instance, if the war is a civil war and it is a fight solely over the possession or control over a certain entity, once the ownership of that entity is claimed by one of the parties, all conflicts are resolved and the war should end there in peace. On the other hand, if there are external ulterior motives behind the parties going into war, the chances of there being peace after the war ends is very unlikely, as there will still be tension between the parties, which could drive them to continue going at each other’s neck. Furthermore, war and peace are on opposite ends of the spectrum, so the process from war to peace is rarely immediate and takes time, which opens up room for more bloodshed to take place. Therefore, a definitive resolution to the guiding question above is unattainable.
The Problem of Peace
The North didn’t know what to do with the confederate leaders. They were pardoned by President Johnson in 1868 but did not remove the remaining civilian disabilities. The South is ruined. Economy collapsed. Business and factories closed. Transportation system broken down. Labor system collapsed (slavery ended). Southerners still defied the North. Freedmen Define Freedom.
The emancipation of slavery didn’t end everywhere right away. Some free blacks ended up back in slavery. Many free slaves joined the union army. Eventually all masters were forced to set their slaves free. Now free many slaves…traveled hoping to find their families. Found work in in towns and cities. Church became focus of black community life.
Education, reading and writing
Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau on March 3, 1865 to help and provide free slaves with food, clothing, medical care, and education. They were authorized to give blacks land but not many actually did. They got blacks labor contracts to work for their former masters. The South disliked the The Freedmen’s Bureau because it upset the racial dominance of whites.
Johnson: The Tailor President
Never went to school at 10 he became an apprentice to a tailor in North Carolina. He became involved in politics in Tennessee and was eventually elected to congress. He became Lincoln’s vice president in 1864. He was the wrong man for the job when Lincoln died and he became president.
In 1863 Lincoln proposed his 10% Reconstruction Plan. A state would be reintegrated into the union if 10% of its voters take an Oath of Allegiance to the USA and said they would abide by emancipation. In 1864 Congress proposed the Wade-Davis Bill which said 50% of voters needed to take the Oath of Allegiance to the USA and said they would abide by emancipation. Lincoln vetoed it.
The Baleful Black Codes
Southern states trying to maintain a labor force imposed these codes on blacks that jumped their labor contracts so they could catch them and they would forfeit their wages and come back to work. Codes sought to restore the pre-emancipation system of race relations.
Southern states represented themselves in the capital in December of 1865 to claim their seats. Republican of congress infuriated. Without the southern senators they have been freely passing legislation to their advantage. Southern might try to join northern democrats and take control of the senate.
Johnson Clashes with Congress
Johnson vetoed a bill that would’ve extended the Freedmen’s Bureau. Republicans responded with the Civil Rights Bill to confer on blacks the privilege of American citizenship. Johnson vetoed this but then congress overruled it They made it the 14th amendment of the constitution.
Swinging ‘Round the Circle with Johnson
Johnson dedicated a Chicago monument to Stephen Douglas. Johnson was very successful for congress because of his bad speeches and the Republicans won more than two-thirds of the vote.
Republicans Principles and Programs
The republicans now had full control of the Reconstruction policy. A rapid restoration of the south was opposed to keep them out as long as possible to allow for social and economic transformation.
Reconstruction by the Sword
Many race riots happening in southern cities and congress passed the reconstruction act of 1867South divided into 5 military districts, each commanded by a Union general, it also disenfranchised thousands of former confederates. The act stopped short of giving freed slaves land or education at a federal expense. In 1869 Congress passed the 15th amendment that gave black suffrage.
No Women Voters
Women and blacks both lacked basic civil rights. The Women’s loyal League had gotten 400,000 signature to petition. The Realities of Radical Reconstruction in the South. Many hesitated even the radicals to give suffrage to the freedmen. Black men gained their suffrage and formed the Union League – a pro union organization based in the North.14 blacks entered congress between 1868 and 1876 and blacks served in state gov’ts as governors and representatives and in local gov’ts. Radicals were taking steps at public schools and tax systems in the south. Women got property rights.
The Ku Klux Klan
Southern whites who opposed the radicals. Whites who resented the ability of black legislators. They would scare blacks from the polls. Congress was infuriated and passed the Force Acts of 1870 and 1871 Had a goal of white supremacy. Johnson Walks the Impeachment Plank. Radicals trying to get him out of power. Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act in 1867, this required that the president need consent before he could remove his appointees once they have been approved. They wanted Edwin M. Stanton to stay in the cabinet. Johnson dismissed Stanton in 1868 and they immediately voted to impeach him, charging him with various violations
A Not-Guilty Verdict for Johnson
The House of Representatives conducted the prosecution. They had a hard time building a compelling case for impeachment. They failed to get the two-thirds majority and impeach him. The Purchase of Alaska. The Russians in 1867 wanted to give Alaska to America. They wanted to further strengthen America as a barrier against their enemy Britain. In 1867 Secretary of State William Seward signed a treaty with Russia that gave Alaska to the USA for $7.2 million. The Heritage of Reconstruction. The South didn’t like reconstruction because it upset their social and racial system. They didn’t like the empowerment of blacks and federal intervention. Republicans never tried to make freed slaves completely independent citizens and it helped the south preserve their system of racial dominance. The Old South was more resurrected than reconstructed.
The Tolstoyan Ideal of Divine Love: Platon and Natasha Examined
In War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy clearly values characteristics such as spontaneity, honesty, vitality, and liveliness. He makes this obvious to the reader through narratives that indicate that he values forms of naturalness over forms of artificiality. In the novel, Tolstoy’s exoteric message is that a devotion to divine love, or a love for all things that exist, is the best way to live. However, in comparing two important characters, Platon Karataev and Natasha Rostova, his esoteric message seems to be that most people cannot be completely devoted to divine love, as those who understand, or who come to understand, divine love almost always do so at their peril or at their end.
Platon, a middle aged, Russian soldier taken prisoner in a French controlled Moscow, is eventually shot by two French soldiers, because he is sick and weak, and can’t keep up with the rest of the prisoners. Tolstoy holds Platon up as ideal for his honesty, his balance of masculinity and femininity, and his traditional Russian peasant manner which evokes vitality and earthliness. Natasha, a young Russian woman, is also very natural, and this is apparent from the moment she is introduced in the novel; bursting into a room, knocking over some items and startling some people (Tolstoy 68). Tolstoy wants the reader to admire her lack of inhibition and disregard of social customs and norms. However, unlike Platon, Natasha finds that her genuineness is called into question when she falls for Anatol, a handsome character who projects fakeness, and superficiality. After learning that her fiance, Prince Andrei, was injured in battle, Natasha repents for considering an elopement with Anatol. After Prince Andrei’s death from his war wounds, she marries and grows old with another character, Pierre who is neither as superficial as Anatol or as ultimately enlightened as Prince Andrei. Initially, it seems as if Tolstoy casts harsh judgment on Natasha for succumbing to the temptations of earthly, romantic relationships, but when comparing a character like Natasha to one like Platon, as well as others like them, it becomes clear that while Tolstoy believes Platon’s character to be more ideal, he understands that most people cannot attain that ideal, and is ultimately forgiving. A comparison of these two characters highlights Tolstoy’s otherwise esoteric message, that a complete devotion to divine love is optimal but not expected, given the price those that attain it, sometimes end up paying. Tolstoy values characteristics and themes of naturalness, such as spontaneity, vitality, and rejection of social customs. He finds the opposite traits of artificiality and rigid conformism, to be characteristics of a superficial person.
War and Peace opens with a scene set in a soiree hosted by Anna Pavlovna. The gathering is clearly dominated by social customs and norms of upper class people who are overly absorbed in the royal system, which Tolstoy obviously dislikes. Every guest performed the ceremony of greeting this unknown, uninteresting, and unnecessary aunt. Anna Pavlovna followed these greetings with solemn, melancholy attention, silently approving them. Ma tante repeated exactly the same phrases to each of them concerning his health, her own, and that of Her Majesty, who, thank God, was better today. (Tolstoy 34)Tolstoy’s disdain for the upper class social ritual of meeting Anna Pavlovna’s aunt is evident in his narrative description of the Aunt as “unknown, uninteresting, and unnecessary”. He also makes it clear how repetitive, and generic the ritual is, and that it is similarly meaningless to the Aunt. What Tolstoy does find worthwhile and meaningful, is a character’s genuineness and liveliness. When describing Natasha, it becomes clear that she exhibits this trait of liveliness:The visitor’s daughter was already smoothing down her dress and looking at her mother inquiringly when suddenly from the next room were heard the footsteps of boys and girls running to the door, the crash of a chair knocked over, and then a girl of thirteen, hiding something in the folds of her short muslin skirt, darted in and stopped short in the middle of the room… The little girl, not pretty but half full of life, with her black eyes and wide mouth, her childish shoulders from which the bodice had slipped in her rapid flight, black curls tossed back, slender bare arms… (Tolstoy 68, 69). Both Tolstoy’s meticulous description of Natasha’s appearance, which describes her as not conventionally pretty, but still clearly attractive, as well as her sudden, spontaneous burst into the room, that he describes as “full of life”, seem to indicate that Natasha demonstrates qualities valued by Tolstoy, even at first introduction.
Characters that show complete devotion or full understanding of Tolstoy’s ideological notion of divine love end up dying. Both Platon and Prince Andrei are an example of this theme. Platon who is admirably described by Tolstoy as kind or spontaneous, tries to assure a frightened Pierre who has been thrown in a prison cell: ‘You’ve seen a lot of trouble, sir, eh?’ said the little man suddenly. And there was such simplicity and kindliness in that sing-song voice that Pierre tried to reply, but his jaw trembled and he felt tears rising to his eyes. ‘Eh, don’t fret, dear man,’ he said in the gentle, caressing, singsong voice in which old Russian peasant women talk. (Tolstoy 1157)In addition to his comforting voice, Tolstoy emphasizes Platon’s affinity for animals, as well as his representation of traditional, hard working down to earth Russian culture and spirit, that Tolstoy associates with naturalness in the novel. Yet, despite these admirable traits, Platon still dies at the hands of French soldiers in Moscow (Tolstoy 1271). Initially, it seems tenuous to say that Platon’s death was somehow caused by his characteristic spiritual understanding of the connection of himself to the world, but the nature of Prince Andrei’s death begins to demonstrate Tolstoy’s message. As a character, Prince Andrei has ignored earlier opportunities to be self-reflective; and only really has a revelation as he sits on his deathbed:‘Love? What is love?’ he thought. ‘Love hinders death. Love is life. All, all that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists only because I love. All is connected by love alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the universal and eternal source’. (Tolstoy 1175)Initially, this dialogue seems out of place. The words seem like delirious ramblings from a near death Prince Andrei. However, Prince Andrei is talking about divine love, meaning a love for all and everything, rather than a love for the material, and the particular. He uses the word ‘love’ many times, but this love encompases the notion that there is a universal and eternal source. Tolstoy seems to indicate that as Prince Andrei is about to die, or is close to death, he finally understands something deeper about the universal truth of ‘divine love’ and recognizes a higher power.
The death of Prince Andrei makes it more clear that Tolstoy believes death to be associated with a final comprehensive understanding of life. Platon indirectly is led to his death by his sweet, gentle nature and an understanding of the divine love, while Prince Andrei realizes it on his deathbed, too late to apply his newfound knowledge to his relationship with Natasha and to his life generally. While there is not a direct causal relationship between their natures and their deaths, Tolstoy seems to conclude that those who abide by a sincere divine love will ultimately die because of it or only understand it fully at their deaths. Some will never come to understand or appreciate it. While Tolstoy’s most enlightened characters meet a fatal end, he demonstrates a forgiveness towards Natasha, a character who seems to have the qualities of genuineness and spontaneity admired by Tolstoy but who reaches more and more towards an earthly understanding of love rather than a universal divine love by the end of the novel. Natasha’s descent begins with the opera scene, where she is seduced by Anatol, and gives into the social decorum of the opera. …turned their attention in eager expectation to the stage. Natasha too fixed her eyes on the stage… a door leading to the parterre on the sides nearest the Rostovs’ box creaked and the masculine footsteps of a belated arrival were heard… Natasha, following the direction of the Countess’s eyes, saw an extraordinarily handsome adjutant approaching their box with a self-assured yet courteous bearing (Tolstoy 677, 678).As the reader later finds out, this military officer is Anatol Kuragin, who Natasha later considers eloping with. Not only is she demonstrating earthly love by her fixation on Anatol, but she also begins to enjoy the facade that is the opera, where every action is quite literally planned beforehand, and all the emotions seen on stage are artificial, merely a creation of someone else. In this way, Anatol too mirrors the artificiality of the opera, distancing Natasha from Tolstoy’s ideals. However, as the reader learns later in the novel, Natasha ends up marrying Pierre, and growing into an “old Russian woman,” someone who, while not having achieved the same level of enlightenment as Platon and Prince Andrei, can still be admired for her authenticity.
Tolstoy delivers a well thought out, mature message in his attempts to understand life and the world around him. He shows the reader that he values liveliness, Russian tradition and culture, spontaneity, authenticity, vitality, and a rejection of social decorum. He also highlights the importance of divine love, or an appreciation for everything, as well as highlighting a dislike for earthly love, or a fixation on the individual, the particular, or the material things in life. However, while Tolstoy considers these traits to be ideal in a person, he concedes that a complete devotion to them is connected to death, whether it be the cause of the ideals, or a product of them. Because of this, he understands the actions of those who do not attain the status of his ideal person, and does not judge them harshly. This is what seems to be Tolstoy’s innate message in War and Peace, as viewed through a comparison of Natasha and Platon.
Tolstoy, Lev. War and Peace. New York: Penguin Books, 1968. Print.