Google doodle analysis of Leo Tolstoj

Today the Google doodle is about Leo Lolstoj. Note that the print screens are not in the order and the same amount of images as in this interpretation. I have just numbered them since it makes it easier for me to follow the images in my interpretation. Don’t think about the numbers.

The doodle is found here:

https://www.google.com/logos/2014/tolstoy/tolstoy14.html

First image:
Bearded man writes letters with ink pen. He is encapsulated in the holy “G”, a manager? The G looks like a gloria. Conscience? Perhaps. Usually only holy people like saints and the holy family get a gloria. There is a candle light under one of the O’s. To place light under something could be to put a light on something. To make something come forward. To highlight something. In this case the o.
To the right of the candle there are books, one is open, with no text written. The pages are blank. Perhaps it means that the books can be filled and written. To create what ever content to the pages of the book, to be creative. Books are also a symbol for knowledge.
Two stencils are in front of the candle holder. They are also unwritten and have room for the creative. Leo is holding a pen and writing something on a paper. He is being creative.
There is a oval and a square icon on the table, perhaps for the ink canisters for the pencil? Those were regular contents for ink pens in the past. The man has black clothes with long sleeves.The man has a white, grey, black beard and hair, his eye brows are bushy.

Second image slides pass, barely visible. We can se a couple dancing behind the windows. Other couples as well. A dance is very symbolic. When couple’s get married the first dance is very symbolic for the couple’s love. Dancing in their married love. In history dancing has been something people have done for joy, courtship and so on. People today go to clubs and dance. Some go there for joy and to have fun with friends. Others want to find a partner. So dancing is for both love and joy really.

Third image:
A women standing on the balcony in a blue dress. Black hair put up, pearl neckless, black “belt” and one black glow on hand (or very shadowed hand).  One hand pointing towards the women’s pearls and the other hand holds on to the railing. The words “Krig och fred” is written in the clouds. I guess “War and peace” is one of Leo’s books.
On the sky there is a full-moon. Three clouds in light-blue, blue, and middle blue shades. She is looking at the sky and the moon like she is thinking of something. Her hand is right above the heart, perhaps she is thinking of a loved one. In Sweden we have a expression “handen på hjärtat” (= hand on the heart). That is an expression for “honestly said”.
On could say the expression is used for being honest and true. The women is totally up in the clouds, unusual to have clouds so low. So perhaps this resembles someone who is totally up in the clouds?
In this case the women on the balcony. In Swedish we have a expression “Uppe i det blå” (way up high in the blue). It is someone that is delirious.
Up in the clouds, could possibly be a similar expression in English. We could say it resembles someone who is fantasising. So the women on the balcony is fantasising about something, and being honest about it.

Fourth image:
Comet on the sky, could also have been a shooting star. A man sees the comet. The artist writes on Google that it is a comet and that is also what it looks like. A comet consists of ice, stone and dust, according to Wikipedia.

The man has glasses and a high hat, a black coat with white fur collar. Sideburns and black hair. Clean shaved. This was pretty common dress for man of class in those days. The fur makes it look like cold winter days. The high hat became popular during the French revolution, according to palett-paleteau.  It became a clear symbol for the new society. During the 19th Century the hat became more common and used  used for both parties and regular days. Farmers used the hats for church visits and weddings. In old black and white movies it is common that someone who  courts has a high hat when he is going to meet the love of his heart. Through the years that hat status has changed, not used that often anymore, according to palett-paleteau.
A high hat is used in cermonies in Uppsala University, symbol for knowledge. The hat also used to be a status symbol in the past. Today, in Sweden, the high hat can be used by the man when someone gets married. Houses in 20th Century shapes. Bluish colors. It is winter, since there are no leaves on the trees. Three trees are visible.

Fifth image:
The image passes quickly. It is shadows of people. One shape in that shadow is also seen in image six. Image is most likely reused. It can also be that one person follows the stories. The reader, or why not the artist himself trying to create the doodle?

Sixth image:
The text “Anna Karenina”. That means: Little girl Pure. That is if I chose to think Karenina has the same meaning as Karina. Most likely Anna Karenina is one of Leo’s books. I wonder if Leo knew this chosing this name?
In the image the women wears a hat, a black dress with purple details. She has white glows, however just one hand is visible on the envelope, the other one she holds to her breast. She carries an envelope, it is red.
I wonder why is it red? Red is the normal color for love, as well as warning color. I haven’t studied Leo’s work and therefore I do not know if this is just the Google doodle creator’s idea or if it is in the Leo work as well. The woman has black and grey short page hair cut. Her dress is grey, with most likely transparent clothes on the button of the dress.
A man stands on the other side of the snow white street. He wears a black cape and a captain’s hat. The hat is white with a red ribbon and black shade. The man has a mustache and light grey pants. He has grey shoes. The sweater is darker grey, tinted in different shades. It is snowing in the image. There are people in shadows in the behind. Some of them are carrying travelling bags. In the image there are three street lights turned on. It is dark and winter time.It looks like mountains behind the women to the left. She steps out of a black house. They are probably characters in Leo’s work. Loved ones I would think. He courting her. Also works with the image about courting in a earlier image in the series.

Seventh image:
When the image goes from six to seven there is a shadow figure with a black cape that passes by, it is the same, as in previous image. Like a shadow that has shadowed from earlier times. It is like this shadow has been reused in the Doodle animation. Perhaps it is on purpose. The same shadow following the art of creation through, the creator of the doodle that is?

Eight image:
Man to the left has his hand on the table, the women to the right holds her hand over his. They are placed in old fashioned chairs with padding. The chairs are brown and black. They are detailed. At the end of the table there is a light with brown shade and white pearls around it. It has a pattern of bows. Bows is the same word as when someone bows down. Some people bow down in prayer. Bow down is also when someones submissions for someone. In example people could bow down for a role model or someone in power.
The lamp has rounded shapes and the lamp foot is black. A lamp can shed light on something, just like the candle could in the first image. Perhaps this couple submissions for each other, holding hands?
The women’s hair is placed in a knot. She has a dirty pink dress with black details. Her hair is brown, white and black. He has brown hair and brown beard. He has a black jacket coat on and pink shirt underneath. Brown is one of the most regular hair colors in the world.
He seems to have a bow tie. Their hands are shaping a X. The hands create a X, a symbol for the cross. Cross can be a Christian symbol. Blessings are often symbolised with a cross.
In Swedish we have the expression “Lägga sista handen på något”. It means to place ones hand on something and that is a symbol of completing something, i.e. a work project or art project. Perhaps the couple are completing their relationship?
There is also another expression: “Bättre en fågel i handen än tio i skogen”, Better to have one bird in the hand than ten in the woods. Really a expression that you know what you got, but you don’t know what you get. Very true, that hinders many people from searching their dreams and goals in life. Fear really for the unknown. Also there is a expression “med varm hand”, with a warm hand. It is about accepting something gladly and loving. According to Wikipedia it is also a expression for someone getting to inherit someone in advance. Another expression is “På tu man hand.” It is when two lovers are all alone, between four eyes only, doing something in pairs.
There are curtains in black on the sides. They are a little bit transparent and uneven. I am wondering why they are uneven. To look worn out/old? Or a certain style? If they are supposed to look old, then perhaps this is a long relationship? It works very well with the expression that you know what you got, but not what you could get, usually very common for people in long relationships. Instead of leaving, they stay, since they are content with what they got, even though something new might be better, but since the outcome is uncertain they don’t risk it and stay. The letters on the table can be these:

u B M 3 n y r
u B M 3 n u s

They can be letters chosen on random, but if we say that out load it turns to:
You be menus. A search on Google ends up in a article in Nypost.com about how restaurant owners try to affect us to buy certain items in a menu. A study at Cornell University shows that 217 menus from 300 diners have descriptive items that sell better. I think it is very funny that the  Google search does that and that the “random” letters turn out as above.
To the left of the letters there is a crayon. In Sweden we have a expression “Handla på krita”. That means if someone buys stuff by taking a loan. Krita is the same name for crayon. The expression came from the fact that in history debt was written with crayons on black boards, see Wikipedia for more info (I already knew that without looking at Wikipedia).

You be menu crayon gives hits on games.

Ninth image:
The images passes a empty room with furniture. There is a chair and a table. An empty room can resemble the lack of life and activity in dreams, according to viasomnii. According to detovernaturliga a empty room, in dreams, depends on the feeling of the room. Emptiness can be interpreted as loneliness, a positive feeling can be for wanting calmness and peace in something. I want to say that a empty room is an oportunity. It can be used for anything really.

Tenth image:
The text “Ivan Iljitjs död” (Ivan Iljitjs death). Ivan means glorious gift. So is death a glorious gift? Or is the man a glorious gift? A man sits in bed and a person, unisex, stands next to the bed, in black clothes and white collar. The man in the bed has black clothes and is almost transparent. The transparency makes the man remind of his life fading away. Like he is dying. That also works with the title on the image. The white linen are also transparent. Like it is a death bed. The curtains are white and have a bow pattern.
The man in the bed submissions for death? There is a heavy black piece of furniture to the right behind the bed. The heavy piece of furniture could resemble that a heavy load is lifted when then man does submission for death. Who the person is next to the bed, I do not know, a servant, or a friend?
The carpet has a pattern in blue on the floor, it looks like the shadow of the bed. A Emma looking chair stands to the left of in front of the bed.
Nobody is seated next to the bed, therefore I don’t feel it is a relative or a friend, more a servant. If so, then this person is rich and all alone, with no-one to hold its hand when it dies, except for the paid help. How sad. If the relationship to the person next to the bed had been more giving then perhaps it would have set down at the chair instead. Since the person is not, I am thinking it is just a paid help, with no real relationship to the person in the bed. Since it is unisex it is also somewhat untied to the person in the bed, a work-relationship, cold.

Eleventh image:
Two women dressed in black are holding hands. One looks to the left the other one to the right, on the floor. A man in tuxedo stands and looks to the left, on flowers in a white vase. Purple flowers. They are seated on a black table. The tuxedo has orange and white details. The women to the right has a neckless with a round shape. The floor has a striped pattern. The wall paper has leaf pattern.

The people in this image do not look happy and they are dressed in black. Also there are stiff flowers on the table. However if it is a funeral, I do not know. People in morning? I don’t know. Since the previous image was a man on a death-bed it could be people in morning.

Twelfth image:
A man dressed in white with white beard and white hair, somewhat bold. He stands on the right side of the image. He has grey shaded pants. He is amongst birch trees. The man has a white coat with a black belt. There are leafs up in the trees in different colors, so they remind me of autumn season. In the middle of the trees Google is hiding. Google is behind the streets, inside the birch wood.
The man stands in front of the birch trees. His arms are inside the black belt, with the thumbs outside the belt. A man with white hair and beard by the birch trees. Tolstoj himself?
He was a man who founded his own belief system and went towards nature more and more in his life. Here it seems like he is in the woods, in this case birch woods. He almost blends in, since he is dressed in the black and white colors of the woods. However, if we look closely the colors are more grey tones and white, only the belt is black. Like someone who has a black belt, is a master of something.
So perhaps he was a master at what he did. Then the leaves are colorful, just like autumn. Green, blue, orange and brown colors. Unrealistic. Perhaps the Google doodle creator thought Tolstojs life was unrealistic and he was a master? The doodle creator writes something that it was complex to summarize Tolstojs life work.

Even if the doodle creator didn’t want to give too much narrative details, they are still there. What I thought was a red envelope, was a handbag! A envelope shaped handbag. The curtains in Ivans image stands for something in between him and the awakening, the doodle creator writes. The doodle creator also writes that the original title for War and peace also means:
World, peace, home and house.

The guest doodlers creator, that created this animation, was Roman Muradov. You see the sources for my interpretation down below.

So summarizing the above it is about love, war, death, submission to life really and the work of an artist. Both the doodler creator and Leo Tolstoj merge in this doodle, this work is inspired by the other and created by the other. So it is about marriage, promises, longing, getting peace and finding oneself. Very much like Leo’s transformation through life.

The symbols in the images also have the meaning that people keep to the old ways, since they know what they got. Perhaps staying in relationships that feel safe and not being bold and trying something new. Not just relationships are safe, also our way of life, not doing our passion. Not wanting to go in debt to try something fun. The crayon in Swedish is referenced to debt. You know what you got, but not what you get.

Leo was a complex person according to Wikipedia. The books Anna Karenina and War and Peace are Leo’s most famous books. He wrote novels, essays and plays. He was an anarchist. He was non-violent. He was a vegetarian. He affected Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr, according to Wikipedia. Leo was of nobility class. He transformed from a privileged nobility author to a non-violence anarchist spiritual person in the end of his life. A public killing, that he saw, affected him deeply. I think that started his transformation, since there he decided not to serve any state anymore, according to Wikipedia.

They tried to get me to read his books during my earlier University studies, but I found the books extremely boring, I couldn’t read even one page. Those exams I still haven’t written. I find it hard to read things I do not enjoy. Especially literature. Very hard. Not my taste so to speak. Perhaps it was the old-fashioned language I couldn’t take… I don’t know. But I have never read Tolstoj. But since so many others have I am guessing they find him really good. I am not saying he isn’t. I just couldn’t.

Feel free to continue. I haven’t looked at all details. This is just a simple interpretation. I could have made other references, but I was affected by the doodle creators text.

Leo Tolstoj Google doodle print screens.
Leo Tolstoj Google doodle print screens.

Sources:
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Tolstoj
http://www.fornamn.se/Engelska-namn/flicknamn/Karina.html
https://www.google.com/doodles/leo-tolstoys-186th-birthday
http://nypost.com/2014/07/31/how-menus-trick-you-into-spending-more/
http://detovernaturliga.se/Drommar/dromtydning4.htm
http://sv.wiktionary.org/wiki/ta_p%C3%A5_krita
http://www.viasomnii.net/om-drommar/dromlexikon/dromsymboler?visa=alla
http://www.typkanske.se/synonym/handen-pa-hjartat
http://palett-paleteau.blogspot.se/2011/09/hatten-som-statussymbol.html
http://www.uu.se/om-uu/akademiska-traditioner/akademiska-symboler/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_of_the_cross
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_%C3%B6ver_svenska_idiomatiska_uttryck
https://www.google.com/doodles/leo-tolstoys-186th-birthday

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