Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I was interested to see the transformation of some of the characters. I love Prince Andrei, but the circumstances of the last volume left him bitter. I was happy to see a bit of a transformation at the end, albeit for a sad reason. I love that Natasha is maturing. She's not perfect, but she's not the flighty little girl of the past. Her compassion on the wounded soldiers at the expense of the Rostov's material possessions made me smile.
It's hard to read about the devastation of the war. I've always considered the lives lost in the military, but the civilians surrounding the battle were placed in terrifying situations. How awful that the rich were able to flee, but many of the peasants were left behind.
Tolstoy spent a few chapter philosophizing about war. It was interesting to learn his perspective. To him, war is won or lost by the combination of thousands of varied circumstances and thousands of individual wills. He paints a vivid picture of this in the battle of Borodino. It shows that Napoleon and Kutuzov had very little control over what was happening. For all of their planning, what mattered were the choices of thousands of individual soldiers in the thick of the battle. I'm curious to see how this theme develops in the next volume.
Although it's slow going, I'm glad that I'm making the effort to read War and Peace. I'll be back on February 28th with my thoughts on Volume IV. I won't be late next time!
Posted by Kristi at 3:57 PM