Reading for Tuesday, 24 March
This chapter is mainly descriptive of Nikolai’s visit to Marya, but what a description . . .
Every other time she’s been described in this book, Tolstoy has constantly used descriptions that paint her as being quite plain-looking and completely submissive to her father.
But now, as she is now free, she is completely transformed. If I was to quote one particular part that sums it up, it’s the line:
Mademoiselle Bourienne, who was in the darwing-room, gazed at Princess Marya with bewildered surprise. The most accomplished coquette herself, she could not have manoeuvred better on meeting a man whom she wanted to attract.
The same inner strength that Marya drew on for coping with the hard times is now transformed into something highly attractive to Nikolai. Now he just needs to sort out the Sonya dilemma . . .