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Sphinx Motif War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

What is the significance of the sphinx motif in War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy?

(I just need a general "how to" on figuring out the answer)

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You should have fun with this question - though sometimes finding the quotes can be tedious. Look at Chapters 32, 255, 261 & 336 (Book 11/1812). Be sure to hi-lite each mention of the sphinx. Then you might want to take a peek at this ...