Reading for Monday, 23 February
The madness continues in this chapter. Rastopchin, rather than dealing in any military way with the threat of invasion, has taken to punishing individuals and groups that are unpatriotic. (Hmm . . . we wouldn’t be like that nowadays, would we?) So Pierre gets a warning as a Mason and various individuals are targeted.
But for me, the highlight of this chapter is the end. In the kind of circumstance that could only happen in the middle of a war – Pierre decides to make a mad dash out into the streets. This is not just simply leaving his house. This is leaving behind the aristocracy, and all its hypocrisy and conventions.
This, my friends, is the equivalent of Truman Burbank breaking out of the TV studio in The Truman Show. And it’s also the beginning of Pierre’s odyssey through the tail end of this book.