And this chapter is the last one where you get some sense that things could have been fixed.  Natasha is desperate for Andrei to arrive – but as with his first wife having a baby, he seems to be running late . . .

In the meantime, along comes Helene, with her invitation to a party to meet her brother.

I’ve got to admit, this chapter (along with the last one) does drive home the fact that the Kuragins are a funny breed.  Neither Helene nor Anatole seem to have a moral bone in their body, and the fact that they might be destroying something or causing trouble never seems to enter their mind.

There’s always something rather fascinating about people that you know will go beyond limits that you normally would never cross.  There’s a fascinating wonder about what might happen if you hang around with them, and a sense that you might have new experiences.

But common sense should tell us that some people are just plain dangerous to hang around . . .

But then we’ve got to pity poor Natasha.  She doesn’t have Tolstoy in her ear, giving her reams of information about the people she hangs around with and what really goes in their lives.  If she did, then we mightn’t have these kinds of problems . . .

2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 8.12 – An Invitation to a Party

  1. Yes, I think maybe this whole thing with the Kuragins honing in on Natasha, like a pair of vultures, is perhaps neither more nor less than Tolstoy showing us the corruption of innocence. It’s why I cannot feel too mad at Natasha – she really is being manipulated by people, and by feelings, that are just far too big for her. The people are seducing her with flattery and kindness, the feelings are seducing her with the promise of excitement – excitement masquerading as love. Almost every step that has taken her to this place has been led, or pushed, by others – first by Andrei in leaving her, then by his family in their rudeness towards her, and now by the Kuragins in their seduction of her. I know that everyone has to ultimately take responsibility for their decisions and actions – but I just feel that Natasha is way, way out of her depth here.

  2. And do her parents actually know anything about these people?
    Natasha had no occasion to learn about Anatole and his reputation.

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