I think this section, of Olga, Tamara, and Galya moved too quick for such a complex friendship. Perhaps we’ll get more from another point of view, but it didn’t reveal that much more about Olga we didn’t already learn and I didn’t feel like I really know Tamara, either.
Kutuzov as Tolstory writes him is the only one who really sees what’s going on (the observation about his empty eye-socket a none-too-subtle irony on seeing). Yet Kutuzov does see better than anyone, even near silently getting Andrei to come with him knowing the young man wants to be a “hero” otherwise.
He asks a few questions, eventually leading to talking of the ladies: the important things for all men.
Everyone is fooling everyone and nobody seems to know it, except the Sargent who wanted to fire on the French at the bridge but was instead arrested because he didn’t follow Austrian discipline. And in this calamity Andrei thinks he will save the Army.
France takes the bridge while the royalty party. Typical.
We end with Bilibin jokingly, yet still correctly (in Andrei’s mind) saying Andrei is a “hero”.
This chapters serves to show us how foolish all these hangers-on diplomat types are. In fact it os only Andrei whom has been invited to see the emperor. And when Bilibin hears this he tells Andrei to tell the Emperor how well Bilibin responsibilities are going (supplies and food, I assume anyway) which is, of course, totally untrue since it’s not going well and Andrei says so. Perception, lying, gaming. Fool
* Emperor Francis I of Austria
Tolstoy indulges on Bilibin, a character we only meet once. Part of this is to show how pretentious Bilibin is, but also to act as a foil to the Russian belief they have won an important victory. Truth is as Austria sees it Russia is full of looters and is good for little. Again it’s perception, yet it ends with Andrei dreaming about how it all did happen as he happily remembers it – damn Austria’s interpert