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War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

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Andrew Bolkonski

Andrew Bolkonski

Andrew Bolkonski

Andrew Bolkonski

Andrew, though as noble a soul as Pierre, differs from his friend in important ways that make him a very distinct character, and that illustrate Tolstoy’s philosophy of life. Andrew has a highly intelligent and analytical mind, as we see in the profitable way he runs his estate. He is devoted to his country, returning to active duty even after nearly being killed at Austerlitz, and spending months helping Speranski write a new civil code for Russia. Andrew, though often detached, is emotionally honest and willing to examine mysteries in himself, as we see in his frank admission early in the novel that he is dissatisfied with marriage to his virtuous and lovely wife, Lise. But Andrew’s flaw is a spiritual one: his detachment is an intellectual advantage, but an emotional handicap. Andrew is free from Pierre’s disabling search for the meaning of life, but he is also unable to forge deep and lasting connections with others, and unwilling to forgive their misdeeds. When Andrew is first introduced, Pierre touches his arm; Andrew instinctively flinches, disliking the contact. This physical reaction reflects Andrew’s inability to be touched by others throughout his life. Ultimately, he is a lonely individual whom even the love of Natasha cannot save.

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Wrong answer

by sabinkamalinka, October 22, 2013

I am currently taking Russian Literature- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and I know for a fact that the chronology for War and Peace goes throughout 18th century! You should really consider changing the answer on the War and Peace quiz!

19th century begins in 1800

by tothetin, October 23, 2013

The events of War and Peace begin in 1805 and proceed to around 1812. The century that begins in the year 1800 is referred to as the 19th century.

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Correction to plot summary, Book 12

by keepbabbling, April 27, 2014

"Natasha takes Mary into the room where Andrew is lying, and Mary is shocked to see her brother looking soft and gentle. Mary knows this appearance to be a sign of his approaching death."
Natasha tells Mary there has been a change recently in Andrew, and while Mary expects that means he has become soft and gentle because he is dying, she is shocked to find it is the opposite -- he has become hard and indifferent. His mind has became fixed on the next life and so he no longer has any emotions for anything in the current life.

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