Wrapping up War and Peace
I'm wrapping up War and Peace in class today with a few closing comments. It's difficult to discuss in minute details a novel that affords innumerable nuances of relationships, philosophy of the mind and chronology of war. But I do wish to make a remark about some new meaning and thought that radiated out of this reading. The French gained a victory near Moscow, took over the city, burned it and trampled under their feet the abundant provisions, munitions and wealth, and made no further engagement before their fatal retreat. Peace in this sense might seem a collective element--peace from war, delivery of the country. But I find it very paradoxical that it was during the daunting time of his being taken a prisoner that Pierre finally attained to the peace and content with himself for which before he had always striven in vain. He had spent long years in search for the tranquility of mind and the inner harmony. How ironic that it is through the extreme limits of privation a man can endure that one attains this tranquility of mind. The satisfaction of one's needs roots--now that Pierre was deprived of what appeared to him to constitute the perfect happiness. It seems to him an easy matter that he forgot a superfluity of the comforts of life destroys all joy in gratifying one's needs. I ponder at how the same idea can tag into relationship. It's usually when people lose the love and bliss do they finally realize how much they have taken love for granted.