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Writers Influenced by Leo Tolstoy

Life of Leo Tolstoy
Picture Gallery
Tolstoy's Themes
Theme Analysis
Tolstoy's Imagery
Tolstoy's Writing Style
Tolstoy's Literary Devices
What Critics Write
Topics of Related Interest
Helpful Resources for Students
Writers Influenced by Leo Tolstoy
Influences on World Literature
Literary Movements
Multimedia Links
Other Wonderful Sites
A Glance at Tolstoy's Masterpieces
Leo Tolstoy's Quotes
Works Cited

     Not many writers have had the widespread, long-lasting influence of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. As well as creating War and Peace and Anna Karenina, two of the most noteworthy novels in world literature, Tolstoy was a thinker whose theories of Christian behavior inspired many people. In many of his works, Tolstoy repeated the fundamental theory that murder is wrong and that killing one's fellow human beings in any situation is murder. Thus, for Tolstoy the truth was that war and executions are murder, even though people try to defend them.  In Tolstoy’s opinion, the essential solution to war was for people to understand what war truly is and call it by its correct name.

     Among people who were influence by Tolstoy’s theories are Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Tolstoy’s works The Kingdom of God is Within You and My Religion in which he developed his principles of nonviolent resistance have had a great impact on Mahatma Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s Jr. views of the world. (Gandhi Influenced…, Martin Luther King Influenced…)

   Another great writer influenced by Tolstoy’s literature is Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Tolstoy was possibly Dostoevsky's rival for the titles of "Russia's Greatest Novelist" and "Russia's Greatest Moral Philosopher." Tolstoy is best known for his epic work, War and Peace, which challenged the popular at that time view that war was glamorous. Tolstoy's huge success with War and Peace inspired Dostoevsky to make an epic novel of his own - Brothers Karamazov. (Influences of Leo Tolstoy)