Reading Guide Questions for War and Peace
- War and Peace has been called one of the greatest novels of all time. Do you agree with this assessment, and why do you think War and Peace has been awarded such plaudits?
- How does War and Peace illustrate Tolstoy’s attitudes to war?
- Do you think the author’s voice and opinions intrude too much into War and Peace?
- Tolstoy said of War and Peace that it was “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle.” What do you think he meant by this and do you agree?
- Did you feel that learnt more about the historical events described in War and Peace? Did the historical setting of the book make much difference to your appreciation of it?
- War and Peace is a long book. Do you think it is the right length? Were you put off by the length, and how did you feel when you finished the book?
- Which of the male characters did you have most sympathy with – Pierre or Andrew?
- How does Tolstoy make the situations he describes, whether a battle or a ball, come to life for the reader?
- There are a number of contrasting female characters in War and Peace: Helene, Natasha and Mary. What is your opinion of each of these, and what do you think Tolstoy’s views were?
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