Grossman’s Life and Fate

1.Grossman’s Life and Fate has been compared to Tolstoy’s War and Peace in scope, breadth, philosophical outlook and presentation. Indeed, Tolstoy’s work is cited several times in Grossman’s novel and Grossman reportedly read it twice while working on his book. Please comment on similarities between the two works, and if in your opinion Life and Fate can justly be considered a twentieth century War and Peace? 2.Please comment on Grossman’s depiction of war as experience (in the trenches of Stalingrad) versus war as abstraction (in the cities, away from battle). How is the war perceived, treated, discussed by those who are not directly involved? And how is the war fought, survived, won by those at the front? Do the two attitudes (mindsets) ever intersect and what are the consequences? 3.Discuss the role of science in the novel, and Victor Shtrum’s life as a scientist in a totalitarian state. What are his insecurities, his doubts, his breakthroughs? How is he treated at the institute? Why does he not get the respect he deserves? Is real science incompatible with a totalitarian regime? And if so, why?