Imagery In War and Peace
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To have a successful piece of writing, one must be able to convey sharp images to a reader in a concise format. The author Leo Tolstoy was an expert at using vivid imagery in his writing, most notably in the novel War and Peace. Throughout the course of the novel, he uses vivid language and symbols to present the reader with a clear picture of the goings-on, yet still leaves them with the ability to use their imaginations to an extent.
Vivid Imagery in War and Peace
One of the best examples of vivid imagery in the text comes during the Battle of Borodino. The clear differentiation between the Russian soldiers and those fighting for Napoleon becomes crystal clear with Tolstoy's words; one can envision the battlefield, the look in the eyes of the soldiers, and the bitter conflict they would each face. Tolstoy's words convey to the reader the sense of dedication that each soldier faced, and why each felt as though they would emerge victorious.
- The French, well-equipped and with superior tactical skills, presented an orderly front;
- The Russians, however, had faith in themselves and their leader, and were willing to fight to the very last man to defend their homeland.
While Tolstoy only uses words to present these facts, one can picture the entire battle playing before one's eyes, demonstrating the author's mastery of language and use of vivid imagery.
Creating Vivid Imagery
An author has successfully mastered their ability to create vivid images when a reader can picture a film adaptation of a book playing out in their minds. At the end of the conflict with Napoleon, the Russians are faced with the prospect of rebuilding. Using nothing more than Tolstoy's words, one can envision a landscape decimated by war, residents with combined looks of joy and exasperation on their faces, and the presence of hope on the horizon. This ability to envision the past, present, and future of the characters in the novel is clear evidence of Tolstoy's vivid imagery, a trait that all of his works possess.