I think the reason why zombie movies are popular is because people like the idea of the current world being destroyed so as to clear the plate and start again. All our stupid worries we worry about can just go away – loans, idiotic jobs, pointless banter: it is meaningless in the face of a real catastrophe. I think this is why Pierre is excited by the French coming to destroy Moscow, no more silly problems.
Julie’s line “But how could one say that in Russian?” about how she thinks Maria is in love with Nicholas is telling about how that sort of society does not know how to even love in Russian – they can only do it by aping the French (Europeans).And all Julie and her crew can do is mock the Rostov’s and Pierre. This is Tolstoy showing us how the upper classes lost touch with what Russia really is.
“When in doubt, my dear fellow, do nothing.” The best advice anyone ever gave.
This chapter further cements Kutuzov as a father figure in whose hands Russia will be alright.
There is a very strong sense of Kutuzov being a father figure when he re-enters the novel. The way he looks at everyone, his body-type, the way he genuinely hugs Andrei upon hearing of the old Prince’s death, and in the way he really doesn’t give a fuck about anything silly. He respects propriety, does what’s expected of him, but he’s not going to put up with bull-shit like the invoices for chopped wood.
Say what you will about his method, by Nicholas got the job done by taking charge and forcing the peasants to do their duty. He saved Maria’s life exactly because he can’t control his own anger.
Notice how Maria and Pierre both have reveled in knowing they will love someone who will never know it – and of course they will both marry the person they truly love.