War and Peace Saturday: Chapters 169-175

War has begun again. People at the time blame each other, and historians blame multiple causes. Tolstoy claims that no cause in itself was enough justification for any of the awful things that happened in the war. I think society must get collective PMS at some points and just can’t stand to be around each other until it erupts into a bloody mess. (Sorry for the disgusting graphic, but that’s what that first war chapter kept making me think.)

Napoleon provokes Russia by crossing over its borders and some rivers with his army. When Emperor Nicholas tells him to retreat, he refuses and gets all angry and self-righteous. From those chapters I got the idea that Tolstoy didn’t really have a high opinion of Napoleon or Nicholas, but seems to like Napoleon less. He doesn’t really favor any of his characters, though. He does a great job of making them all seem human.

Then we go to Andrew, who, as I suspected is far from over his loss of Natasha. (There are a lot of “N” names in this section I just noticed). He has a strong desire to duel Anatole (And there’s 2 “A” names), but he doesn’t think stealing Natasha is a good enough reason, so he plans to just make one up if he ever catches him. Anatole keeps running for him, and Andrew tries to distract himself by getting involved in the war efforts, but he still can’t help thinking about his anger toward Anatole. His brain is trying to keep him rational and just forget about it all, but his heart keeps wanting to right the wrong, which for him means dueling. The good part is that because of this he sees his dad as a big jerk for the first time. Yet he still leaves his kid there to be raised by his crazy sister and with all that tension and mental torture going on…

Anyway, that’s the story so far. It’s still going well. It’s funny but this is the first time I had the thought, “You know, this book seems to be broken in sections. First we see everyone in their normal lives, at peace, and then there’s a war, and then it’s back to peace…” Then I remembered what the title was and felt pretty stupid for not noticing any of that sooner 🙂

Well, that’s all for now. I need to finish packing for my vacation!!!!

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