War and Peace Saturday: Chapters 50-56

So we went back to some of the people who aren’t fighting (with the exception of the last chapter of this segment). First there was Prince Vasili trying to get his son Anatole engaged to “fat and ugly” Mary Bolkonski (Andrew’s sister). Mary seems okay, though she’s very religious and even though she’s educated she is not all that smart. I guess she’s more of the type led by heart than brain with very little common sense. I think that’s the way a lot of these women are portrayed, though there are some with an abundance of common sense–those are the schemers (Anna Mikhaylovna).

Anatole is completely brainless. Actually, I think his brain is just in his penis, because even when he is supposed to be charming this rich girl so she’ll marry him and give him her money, he goes behind her back in her scary father’s home and overtly flirts with Mary’s servant/friend, Bourienne. Luckily, Mary turns him down in the end, refusing to marry–not because he’s complete scum, but because she wants her friend Bourienne to be free to marry him, since they like each other so well. Like that would happen. Anatole has his fun when he wants it, but the only reason he’ll marry is because his father tells him to–for money and prestige.

Now, Old Bolkonski is a jerk, and at first I didn’t like him, but now I’m changing my mind. He sees things for how they really are, and he genuinely cares for both of his children. He’s controlling, but he lets Mary make her own decision, even though he knew marrying Anatole would be a very, very, very bad idea.  He’s extremely harsh, but you know, that just makes his character more interesting to read about. It’s not like he can make my life a living hell like he does to Andrew’s pregnant wife. (Plus, I love that he had his staff cover the road back up with snow for Vasili’s arrival).

And then at the very end we went back to the war, kind of, as there’s a break in the action. All our soldier men were together for a moment. I got my Andrew fix after first seeing what an idiot Nick is. It was stressed how young he is, and he seems to admire Andrew in a way, even though he also hates him, so maybe in the next thousand pages or so he’ll mature a bit.

With a book this long, who knows where these characters will go. I looked up the dates, and for these 700 Nook pages it’s all taken place in the same year. I don’t think the really immature ones will stay that way the whole time. I believe there are some changes for them in the future, even if it will be the very distant future.


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