Ilia Repin, Portrait of Lev Tolstoi (1887), Tretiakov Museum,
Moscow; image credit
Tolstoi Paper Assignment
You have three options for your Tolstoi paper assignment. You must read one of the following three short novellas. All three are contained in the Penguin Classics book, Leo Tolstoy, The Cossacks and Other Stories (978-0-14-044959-4):
- The Cossacks (Казаки, 1863) is a story of Tolstoi's personal experiences with Russia's Cossack forces fighting in the 1850s in the Caucasus against Chechen mountaineers.
- Sevastopol Stories (Севастопольские рассказы, 1855) are Tolstoi's personal accounts of Russian forces fighting French, British and Turkish forces on the Crimean peninsula during the Crimean War.
- Hadji Murat (Хаджи-Мурат, 1912) is Tolstoi's fictionalized version of what happened to Hadji Murad who fought against the Russians in the Caucasus in the 1850s before becoming an ally of the Russians (and then being beheaded).
If you read, The Cossacks, answer the following question in a one-page paper: Contrast the Russian (Olenin) way of life and attitudes about life with those of the Cossacks (Eroshka and Lukashka).
If you read, Sevastopol Stories, answer the following question in a one-page paper: According to Tolstoi, how did the attitudes of the Russian soldiers (and Tolstoi) towards the war change during the siege of Sevastopol? Please check the short notes on the Crimean War.
If you read, Hadji Murat, answer the following question in a one-page paper: How did Tolstoi view the ultimate outcome of the struggle between Russia and the Caucasian mountaineers (as represented by Hadji Murat and Shamil)?
Your paper must follow this format:
- must have brief introduction and conclusion paragraphs (each not to exceed three lines); the introduction must directly respond to the assignment question and identify your analysis/thesis points.
- font size 10 or 12 only
- one-inch margins
- page number citations for your quoted evidence
- name, and only your name, at the top left of the paper
- not to exceed one (1) page
- You may consider submitting a draft of your assignment to your instructor for feedback before submitting the assignment for the grade. At times, you may be asked to rewrite your essay. This is done for your own benefit and will result in an improved grade.
Please take a moment to review Charlie's History Writing Center (See the tutorial on the one-page paper and the paper examples.) for specific information on the writing requirements for the assignments in the course. Please check this short explanation of what it means to cite historical evidence.
Your assignment should be submitted on Canvas.
ps. You may be able to find some of these short novels online, for example, Hadji Murad.