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Peak population 18, Life in the Japanese internment camps was hard. Internees had only been allowed to bring with then a few possessions. In many cases they had been given just 48 hours to evacuate their homes.

The Battle for Moscow, Turning Point of the War

Consequently they were easy prey for fortune hunters who offered them far less than the market prices for the goods they could not take with them. To pack and evacuate in forty-eight hours was an impossibility. Seeing mothers completely bewildered with children crying from want and peddlers taking advantage and offering prices next to robbery made me feel like murdering those responsible without the slightest compunction in my heart. They were housed in barracks and had to use communal areas for washing, laundry and eating. It was an emotional time for all.

I thought I was imagining it as an adult much later. Some internees died from inadequate medical care and the high level of emotional stress they suffered.

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Those taken to camps in desert areas had to cope with extremes of temperature. The camps were guarded by military personnel and those who disobeyed the rules, or who were deemed to be troublesome were sent to the Tule Lake facility located in the North California Cascade Mountains. In those who refused to take the loyalty oath were sent to Tula Lake and the camp was renamed a segregation centre.

In all internees over the age of seventeen were given a loyalty test. They were asked two questions:. Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty wherever ordered? Not that much remains of the large ballcourt on the west side of the main plaza, which was about meters long, running parallel, north to south, with a long, rectangular skullrack in front of the ballcourt.

There is another large ballcourt at the edge of the hilltop, on the north side of the main pyramid, which was about 85 meters long, with the tops of the walls and the sloped playing surfaces still visible in a shallow depression. This view is looking from the north-west corner of the ballcourt, to the south and towards the back side of the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl.

West of the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, on the north side of the main plaza, there is a large complex of buildings known as the Palace of the Columns. On the east side, and between the palace and the pyramid, is the Coatepantli, or serpent wall, a carved stone mosaic frieze, 40 meters long and more than 2 meters high, with carved scenes depicting serpents devouring human sacrificial victims, surrounded by geometric fret and key motifs, and a cornice with coils and sea shells, symbolizing Venus as the morning star.

The Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, or Tlahuizalpantecuhtli, is a square mound with five terraces and a pronounced central stairway on the south side. At the top there is large open platform with three rows of massive stone columns, that supported the timber roof of a two-room temple. The four tallest columns in the center row are carved as Atlanteans, Toltec warriors in full battle gear, with vertical feathered headdress and butterfly breastplates. The warriors have spears, and their right hands hold 'atlatls', the typical spear throwers which may have given the figures their name.

Tolstoy was instrumental in bringing a new kind of consciousness to the novel. His narrative structure is noted for its "god-like" ability to hover over and within events, but also in the way it swiftly and seamlessly portrayed a particular character's point of view. His use of visual detail is often cinematic in scope, using the literary equivalents of panning, wide shots and close-ups. These devices, while not exclusive to Tolstoy, are part of the new style of the novel that arose in the midth century and of which Tolstoy proved himself a master.

The standard Russian text of War and Peace is divided into four books comprising fifteen parts and an epilogue in two parts. Roughly the first half is concerned strictly with the fictional characters, whereas the latter parts, as well as the second part of the epilogue, increasingly consist of essays about the nature of war, power, history , and historiography. Tolstoy interspersed these essays into the story in a way that defies previous fictional convention.

Certain abridged versions remove these essays entirely, while others, published even during Tolstoy's life, simply moved these essays into an appendix. The novel is set 60 years before Tolstoy's day, but he had spoken with people who lived through the French invasion of Russia. He read all the standard histories available in Russian and French about the Napoleonic Wars and had read letters, journals, autobiographies and biographies of Napoleon and other key players of that era. There are approximately real persons named or referred to in War and Peace.

He worked from primary source materials interviews and other documents , as well as from history books, philosophy texts and other historical novels. Tolstoy was critical of standard history, especially military history , in War and Peace. He explains at the start of the novel's third volume his own views on how history ought to be written. His aim was to blur the line between fiction and history, to get closer to the truth, as he states in Volume II. Although the book is mainly in Russian, significant portions of dialogue are in French.

It has been suggested [13] that the use of French is a deliberate literary device, to portray artifice while Russian emerges as a language of sincerity, honesty, and seriousness. It could, however, also simply represent another element of the realistic style in which the book is written, since French was the common language of the Russian aristocracy at the time.

The use of French diminishes as the book progresses. It is suggested that this is to demonstrate Russia freeing itself from foreign cultural domination, [13] and to show that a once-friendly nation has turned into an enemy.

Who Was Leo Tolstoy?

By midway through the book, several of the Russian aristocracy are eager to find Russian tutors for themselves. The novel spans the period to The era of Catherine the Great was still fresh in the minds of older people. Catherine had made French the language of her royal court. The historical context of the novel begins with the execution of Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien in , while Russia is ruled by Alexander I during the Napoleonic Wars.

Tolstoy also references the Great Comet of just before the French invasion of Russia. Tolstoy then uses the Battle of Ostrovno and the Battle of Shevardino Redoubt in his novel, before the occupation of Moscow and the subsequent fire.


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The final battle cited is the Battle of Berezina , after which the characters move onward with rebuilding Moscow and their lives. The novel tells the story of five families—the Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Kuragins, and the Drubetskoys. In addition, several real-life historical characters such as Napoleon and Prince Mikhail Kutuzov play a prominent part in the book. Many of Tolstoy's characters were based on real people.

His grandparents and their friends were the models for many of the main characters; his great-grandparents would have been of the generation of Prince Vassily or Count Ilya Rostov.


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  • Many of the main characters are introduced as they enter the salon. Pierre Pyotr Kirilovich Bezukhov is the illegitimate son of a wealthy count , who is dying after a series of strokes. Pierre is about to become embroiled in a struggle for his inheritance. Educated abroad at his father's expense following his mother's death, Pierre is kindhearted but socially awkward, and finds it difficult to integrate into Petersburg society.

    He is disillusioned with Petersburg society and with married life, feeling that his wife is empty and superficial, he comes to hate her and all women, expressing patently misogynistic views to Pierre when the two are alone. Pierre doesn't quite know what to do with this, and is made uncomfortable witnessing the marital discord.

    Andrei tells Pierre he has decided to become aide-de-camp to Prince Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov in the coming war against Napoleon in order to escape a life he can't stand. The plot moves to Moscow , Russia's former capital, contrasting its provincial, more Russian ways to the more European society of Saint Petersburg. The Rostov family are introduced. Count Ilya Andreyevich Rostov and Countess Natalya Rostova are an affectionate couple but forever worried about their disordered finances.

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    They have four children. Thirteen-year-old Natasha Natalia Ilyinichna believes herself in love with Boris Drubetskoy, a young man who is about to join the army as an officer. Twenty-year-old Nikolai Ilyich pledges his love to Sonya Sofia Alexandrovna , his fifteen-year-old cousin, an orphan who has been brought up by the Rostovs. The eldest child, Vera Ilyinichna, is cold and somewhat haughty but has a good prospective marriage in a Russian-German officer, Adolf Karlovich Berg.

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    Petya Pyotr Ilyich at nine is the youngest; like his brother, he is impetuous and eager to join the army when of age. At Bald Hills, the Bolkonskys' country estate, Prince Andrei departs for war and leaves his terrified, pregnant wife Lise with his eccentric father Prince Nikolai Andreyevich and devoutly religious sister Maria Nikolayevna Bolkonskaya, who refuses to marry the son of a wealthy aristocrat on account of her devotion to her father and suspicion that the young man would be unfaithful to her.

    The second part opens with descriptions of the impending Russian-French war preparations. Boris Drubetskoy introduces him to Prince Andrei, whom Rostov insults in a fit of impetuousness.

    He is deeply attracted by Tsar Alexander 's charisma. Nikolai gambles and socializes with his officer, Vasily Dmitrich Denisov, and befriends the ruthless and perhaps psychopathic Fyodor Ivanovich Dolokhov. Bolkonsky, Rostov and Denisov are involved in the disastrous Battle of Austerlitz , in which Prince Andrei is badly wounded as he attempts to rescue a Russian standard.

    The Battle of Austerlitz is a major event in the book. As the battle is about to start, Prince Andrei thinks the approaching "day [will] be his Toulon , or his Arcola ", [17] references to Napoleon's early victories. Later in the battle, however, Andrei falls into enemy hands and even meets his hero, Napoleon.