Reading for Tuesday, 24 February

I apologise for being so diabolically late with this post – I’m not sure what happened this week.

Anyway, we flick back to the Rostovs.  I think ione of the great strengths of Tolstoy’s writing is that no matter what situation he places them in, his characters will always behave as you expect.

So here we have Moscow about to be invaded, and there’s not really a lot of difference from the Rostovs in peacetime.  Count Rostov is dithering around, running late.  Sonya is doing all the work. The Countess is being irrational. Petya is being impulsive. Natasha is just having fun.

There’s more an element of worry among the parents, but not a fundamental change of character.


2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 11.12 – A Return to the Rostovs

  1. You’re certainly right, Matt – the Rostovs are very much the same family, in war and in peace. I think he thing I found most touching in this chapter was the descriptions of the countess’s concerns for Petya, and his irritation at her concerns. I think that description was something that would surely be instantly recognisable to any family, whatever danger or concerns they face – and this, to me, is another of Tolstoy’s great skills: the way he shows us not just the individuality of each of his characters, but also their universality. Whatever their strengths and weaknesses, whatever their noble and ignoble characteristics might be, there is always something of each of us in all of them, somehow.

  2. Nobody’s perfect . . . I didn’t expect much to change with the parents – the older you get, the more set you are in your ways.

    The young do change – slowly, but they change – they grow into the people they are to become.

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