Daily Archives: January 14, 2016

26% done with War and Peace


Only the Uncle chapter is superior to this small chapter with the 2 friends on the ferry. You can actually feel the change in Andrei, feel the goodness of Pierre as he, misguidedly, tries to pry the cynicism from him. And it’s no accident of setting: that flooded river is symbolic of life and death, the ferry our journey on it, the passing of it is change. And Andrei changes inwardly, silently, unlike Pierre

25% done with War and Peace


When we dig deeper into their argument past Pierre being right and Andrei being wrong, we see that Andrei’s “wrongness” has produced positive results whereas Pierre’s “rightness” has actually hurt more people. His serfs are worse off and more exploited than ever, whereas Andrei’s are at least in a predictable situation. This is why Andrei isn’t a bad person, he’s just cynical though always sensible.

25% done with War and Peace


Pierre and Andrei arguing about what is good and what is the meaning of life is a wonderful moment of friendship. The chapter begins with them having grown distant from each other and unable to at first find something in common. But this philosophical argument is wonderful in how cynical Andrei is and how naive Pierre is. And funny that though Pierre can’t express what he feels, we know he’s right and Andrei isn’t.

25% done with War and Peace


Later in the novel Mary will try to give the peasants all the grain in the stores but they refuse it, are in fact nearly hostile to her. And so even she who knows the serfs, knows what they endure has a hard time doing good. Pierre, then, is totally out of his element and is useless. This is Tolstoy’s condemnation of the rich class who think giving money is the same as doing good. They do more harm actually.

25% done with War and Peace


“Prince Andrew was the first to move away, ruffling his hair against the muslin of the curtain”: A Terrance Malick visual moment.

I’m trying to think of why this is a significant chapter. It begins with Bilibin’s letter full of sarcasm and disgust at the stupid situation of military politics, and ends with the child’s fever finally breaking. Does this represent Andrei seeing the final truth of war?