War and Peace Saturday: Chapters 197-227

So I did it–barely. I’m caught up again.

In the first section we have Napoleon on his way to Moscow, with Mary staying at her house because her father won’t leave. Then Old Bolkonski finally dies, and Mary finds herself ashamed to be relieved. More pressing, though, is the fact that the French army is bearing down on them, and now the peasants won’t let them leave, despite the fact that she’s offered them all of their grain. But then Nick Rostov rides in and saves her, and the result is that they are both in love with each other. Though love will have to wait, because it is War right now, not peace.

In the second section Andrew meets with General Kutuzov, who is not what you’d picture a “good” general to look like, since he is fat, can barely move, and generally droopy, but Andrew decides that he’s doing an okay job. And Denisov is back! I was worried he was a goner, but now he’s a Lieutenant Colonel and his plan for cutting off supplies to the French is welcomed by Kutuzov.

And we also see Pierre again, who is listening to all the gossip about the war and is being teased about his non-involvement. He finally joins up after seeing a man being tortured just for being French or speaking French, when not that long ago French was all the rage in Russia.

Our military analysis of the upcoming battle of Borodino: not the ideal place to have a battle; it’s just where the French caught up to the Russians and forced them to fight.

And finally, in the last section, Pierre is riding around through the Russian army at Borodino, looking for a way to be useful, and Boris shows him around. They find Andrew, who is not happy to see Pierre, since he knows everything about his past. We also see Dolokhov, who is in disgrace again and is desperately trying to prove his bravery to get out of disgrace. I still think he’s a complete villain, and I’m sure he’ll turn up again.

And after Pierre goes off to bed, we’re left with Andrew, who is contemplating the upcoming battle and the possibility of his death. He hates that war is treated as an idle past-time and that people go to war so frivolously, but he thinks that this particular war is important, since they’re now defending their country from invaders. I found it interesting that he’s placing such importance on this war, when a while back Tolstoy had interjected that this war really started over nothing–just a bunch of little things that built up into a big thing.

I’m glad to be caught up. And I’m glad it’s gotten exciting again. I’m looking forward to my (much shorter) reading next week. Maybe I’ll actually have time to read something else too and get up a few other posts!

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