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2016 > War and Peace : Week Seven

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message 1: by Marie (new)

Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Pierre continues to search for some meaning in his life, and commiserates with Marya, now desperate to be free from her father's constant abuse. After Anatole's attempted elopement with Natasha, Pierre orders him to leave Moscow and once again cuts ties with Helene. When Andrey arrives, Pierre asks him to see Natasha, but Andrey refuses and tells Pierre never to speak to him about her again. Soon Pierre begins to realise how much Natasha means to him.

Boris sets his sites on marriage to an heiress, and settles on the now wealthier, and more easily flattered, Julie Kuragina.

Natasha begins to doubt Andrey's love for her the longer he stays in Europe. She, her father, and Sonya travel to Moscow and stay with friends to plan her trousseau, while Ilya negotiates the sale of their Moscow house to in an attempt to correct their precarious financial state. After a disastrous attempt to meet Andrey's family, she is taken for an evening at the theater where she meets Helene, and finds herself drawn to Anatole. She soon believes herself in love with him, renounces Andrey, and makes plans to run away. Only after Sonya stops her elopement, does she find Anatole is already married. Knowing she has ruined her chance with Andrey, she tries to poison herself and falls into a deep depression, refusing to see anyone but Pierre.

Political tensions escalate as Napoleon crosses into Russia.


message 2: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 470 comments Helene is so completely awful and without morals. Anatole is understandable. He's been allowed to be a carefree rake. I feel very sorry for the Polish woman he ruined. Helene should at least understand why Anatole shouldn't be allowed to seduce Natasha but she didn't care and facilitated the relationship on purpose.

This is the section where I want to slap Natasha. She was the best judge of character in the whole novel thus far and fell prey to teenage hormones and boredom. Anatole was her sexual awakening now she's becoming a woman. Her behavior towards Sonya was hard to take and the whole thing has become a cliched plot device. Case in point why I can't stand teenage heroines. I never thought I'd ever be THAT old when I was 16-17! Anyway, I didn't really understand why Marya and Natasha found it so hard to connect because I think if they were honest with each other they could be friends.

I'm glad Boris didn't get his hands on Marya's money. He's pompous and Julie is an affected, silly chit and they deserve each other. I feel sorry for her parents, losing their sons and then having this aging daughter on their hands. She seems to be a bit headstrong in her own silly way. She got what she wanted anyway.

Poor Pierre. He wants so badly to be a good person and he really is at heart but he keeps falling back into his frat boy ways.

I'm only a little bit beyond this point and I got my good translation back from the library so I will read the footnotes in this section and come back if I want to add to the discussion. If not, I'm going to keep reading if I don't die of boredom from all the military history.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments Pierre wants to be a good man, but he doesn't have the strength to do it, to follow through with being a good man.


message 4: by Erik (new)

Erik (airxx) | 127 comments Nice write-up @Marie... spot on as usual : )

I sometimes wonder if the phrase "No good deed goes unpunished" is Pierre's internal mantra... where being "good" yields you little, so you might just as well be a little wicked so your "punishments" are deserved.

Bored with military history? (shocked face!!!) And here I was getting bored with the soap opera stuff...

-I kid, I jest-


message 5: by Marie (last edited Mar 03, 2016 04:35AM) (new)

Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Yes, Pierre is such a good guy deep down, but no matter how good his intentions nothing ever works for him. So it becomes why bother, at least I'll deserve it. And in a way he belives he does.

Thanks, Erik! :)

It's all right, I actually need the military parts to balance the soap opera. After that much time with Natasha and Sonya, battle planning can be nice.

Tolstoy was definitely being a bit wordy though, QNPOOH. I can't recall if the Messenger paid by the word or the installment, but either way he was pulling a Dickens.

I'm rereading Anna Karenina right now, and I forgot how much Kitty was like Natasha 2.0 - only if Natasha had a sexier older sister in law to steal her man... The first time I read it I was only getting in to Russian history and culture, so the farming and labour disputes were an interesting learning experience. I thought this time around they might seem excessive, but after several chapters inside Kitty's mind, it like "Yes, Scything!"


message 6: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 470 comments Pulling a Dickens! I love it! Dickens would be so annoyed. I'm sure each and every word was precious to the author, if only to get paid. I went back and read some of the military stuff now I have footnotes to explain what's going on. I'm back at work so War & Peace is my bedtime book. No more binging on fluffy murder mysteries. :-(


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