Subject childhood, organic creative Tolstoy and expresses the characteristics of his views on man and society. It is no accident that Tolstoy devoted to this subject for the first work of fiction. Leading, in the beginning of a fundamental spiritual development Nikolenka Irtenyev is his desire to do good, to the truth, for truth, for love, for beauty. The primary source of his high spiritual aspirations is the image of the mother who personified for him the most beautiful thing. Important role in the spiritual development Nikolenka played simple Russian woman Natalya Savishna.
In his novel, Tolstoy describes childhood happy times of life. "Happy, happy, irreversible's childhood! .. Return to ever that freshness, carelessness, need for love and the power of faith, which possess a child? What time could be better, when two of the best virtues - innocent cheerfulness and boundless need for love - were only motivation in life? "Childhood Nikolenka Irtenyev were restless, as a child he experienced a lot of mental suffering, disappointments in the surrounding people, including those closest to him, disappointment in himself.
Tolstoy draws as gradually revealed to Nicholas, the outer shell of the discrepancy of the world and its true content. Nicholas gradually clarifies that the people with whom he met, even at the most near and dear to his people, in fact, does not what they want to appear. He notices every person affectation and hypocrisy, and it develops in them the ruthlessness to people. Noticing and these qualities, he blamed himself morally. To do this, the following example is typical: Nicholas wrote a poem on the occasion of the birth of her grandmother. They have a line that says that he loves his grandmother as his own mother. Having discovered this, he begins to search for how he could write such a line. On the one hand, he sees in these words like treason to the mother, and the other dishonesty in relation to the grandmother. Nicholas thinks, if this line is sincere, then he ceased to love his mother, and if he loves his mother still, so he made a false with respect to the grandmother. As a result, young Nicholas stronger analytical ability. Exposing all the analysis, Nicholas enrich their spiritual world, but the same analysis it destroys innocence, unaccountable faith in everything good and beautiful that Tolstoy considered "the best gift of childhood." This is very well shown in the "Games". Children play, and the game gives them great pleasure. But they are a delight to the extent that the game seems to them to real life. Once lost, this naive belief, the game becomes uninteresting. Nicholas muses: "If the judge truly, the game will not be any. A game will not, what would be left?" This last phrase is significant. It shows that real life (not to play) brings little joy Nikolenka. Real life - a life of "large", that is, adults, people close to him. Nicholas lives as it were in two worlds - the world of adults, full of mistrust, and children in the world, which attracts with its harmony.
Important place in the story is a description of the feelings of love in people. Children's World Nikolenka limited outside of the patriarchal family and the aristocratic hereditary estate, for it really is full of warmth and charm. Tender love for the mother and father reverent adoration, affection for the geeky good man Karl Ivanovich Savishna to Natalia, the belief that everything around there just to "me" and "us" was good, children's friendship and carefree children's games, children's instinctive curiosity all combine colors for Nikolenka world around him in the most light, bright colors.