One of the greatest gems of literature, Leo Tolstoy, was one of the finest Russian writers. Born in 1828, Leo Tolstoy produced some far-etching novels like Anna Karenina and War and Peace. Being an aristocrat, Leo went through myriad of life experiences like both moral crisis as well as spiritual awakening. Apart from novels, Tolstoy also penned down several short stories, novellas and plays which became extremely popular among the masses. Master of realism, Tolstoy’s stories indeed carved immense impression in the minds of the readers. Although he left his studies in between, he went on to become one of the greatest litterateurs. The world experienced massive loss at his death in the year 1910.
#1 How Much Land Does A Man Require?
Leo Tolstoy’s moral review of the world is revealed in this story where he tells the story of a greedy man and his insatiable lust for more and more land. But the inner question which the story deals with is ‘how much land does a man actually require’. The story opens up various debates on matters like greed, lust, death and contentment and ultimately the futility of all materialistic aspects of life. It’s a must read for all, especially in today’s time where people are running mad behind money and luxuries.
#2 Little Girls Wiser Than Men
This story circles around the fight between two girls and how the combat slowly encircles the entire village within itself. The story posits the warmth of forgiveness and highlights the fact that how children are much wiser than adults and also more reconciling. The story is a must read if you wish to explore the psyche of the elderly in contrast to the innocent children.
#3 The Candle
The background to this story can be traced to the liberation of the serfs happening during the reign of Alexander, the second. A story about the cruelty and atrocities unfurled upon the serfs, the story brings forward the evils of slavery and the torturous lives of the serfs. However the story takes a dramatic ending with the death of Michael Simonovitch, the landlord. This story is a must read if you wish to experience god’s role in realistic scenes of human life.
#4 After the Dance
An amazing short story dealing with governance, love, loss and betrayal, is a must read for all looking for some intense emotions and multiple symbolism. A semi-autobiographical story, ‘After the Dance’ was posthumously published in 1903. It includes Tolstoy’s brilliant commentary on high culture and love. A story dealing with myriad of themes like good and evil, expectations of a society, etc. is bound to leave you speechless.
#5 Three Deaths
‘Three Deaths’ is considered one of the finest short stories penned down by the genius, Leo Tolstoy, where he explores sensitive issues like life and death, expectations and religion. The story revolves and grows through the deaths of three subjects who are a noblewoman, a coachman and a tree. If you are looking for some realism, great observation, personification and physical description, this story is a must read.
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