War and Peace Saturday: Chapters 176-182/183-189

I’m back from vacation. I’d say it’s nice to be home, but I’m dog/house-sitting now, so I’m not actually at home. Vacation was very fun, and I don’t particularly want to go back to work, but at least I only have two more weeks of summer session left!

Okay, so I did my reading for vacation weeks, and I’m just going to post for both of them here.

First: Chapters 176-182

Andrew is in the thick of war politics while he waits to report to the Emperor. He notices that there are 9 separate “parties” trying to influence the course of the war. Russian personality observation: “A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known.” Doesn’t seem too flattering, but it was more flattering than some of other observations Tolstoy gave on other nationalities. So, anyway, the Emperor asks Andrew to stay as an adviser, but Andrew asks to serve in the army instead, which apparently gets him cut off from the Emperor and politics and all that, which I think is good, because now maybe there won’t be so many political sections.

Then we switch to Nicholas Rostov, who is now in command of his own unit. Nick sees some action and captures an enemy soldier, which gives him some uncomfortable moral pangs.

Chapters 183-189

Now we’re back to the rest of the Rostovs. Natasha has taken her time recovering from the sickness that resulted from her romantic embarrassment. She’s turned to religion to help her get through it. Then we are subjected to a very long prayer about the war, which is not going well.

Then we see Pierre, who is quite in love with Natasha, but is able to keep from acting on it by resorting to his other sins, drinking, gambling, etc. Pierre has heard a prophesy that ties Napoleon to the 666 in Revelation. He feels that he will be an important player in this prophesy and manipulates the “code” so his name is also tied to Napoleon’s. He feels like he should enlist in the army, but continues to do nothing so that he can fill his supposed great purpose when the time comes.

A note on fashion: Unsurprisingly, speaking French is no longer fashionable. I found it interesting that all the nobility have different uniforms they wear to special events, and the uniforms relate to different Emperors’ reigns.

Well, that’s all for today. Time to walk the dogs!

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