How Did Leo Tolstoy's Impact On Russia

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Article Two in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, adopted by Russia in 1993, states “Man, his rights and freedoms shall be the supreme value” (“Constitution”). In the 1800s, however, this statement would have only applied to noblemen and their superiors. Even those noblemen, however, served the Russian Emperor, an absolute ruler. What changed Russia’s administrative system, giving more power to the people in the 1990s than in previous years? Incredibly, Leo Tolstoy, one of Russia’s most famous writers, greatly impacted how Russians viewed government and life in general. At a time in Russian history when life seemed to fall apart for many low-class Russians, Tolstoy addressed the problems with Russian society, using a completely new style in his literature at the same time.
Russia in the 1800s seemed like an out-of-place, backward nation relative to the rest of Europe. Beginning in the late 1700s, nearly all of Europe, excluding Russia, began leaning toward liberal views of
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This impacted him greatly, and because of its effect he attempted to reconcile himself with the serfs. However, the remembrance of his aristocratic bearing may have had an equal, if not greater, impression. Not only did Tolstoy realize Russian government leaned too heavily on autocracy, he also saw Russia founded society on selfish living. His writing reflects this recognition. For example, in his book The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the main character, an aristocratic court official on his deathbed, ponders the meaning of life. Finally he realizes he has lived a selfish life, caring only about his success and pleasure. In addition, he sees the rest of society living as he has, living “a terrible, huge fraud concealing both life and death” (Death of Ivan Ilyich 105). Tolstoy persistently addressed this deep flaw of human character produced in Russian society throughout his
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