Search Menu

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

Contents

Natasha Rostova

Natasha is one of Tolstoy’s grandest creations, a representation of joyful vitality and the ability to experience life fully and boldly. The antithesis of Helene Kuragina, her eventual husband’s first wife, Natasha is as lively and spontaneous as Helene is stony and scheming. From infancy to adulthood, Natasha charms everyone who meets her, from the guests of the Rostovs who witness her unintelligible comments about her doll, to Andrew Bolkonski, Anatole Kuragin, and finally Pierre Bezukhov. Yet, despite her charms, Natasha never comes across as a show-off or a flirt angling for men’s attentions. Whether running in the fields in a yellow dress, singing on her balcony at Otradnoe, or simply sitting in an opera box, Natasha inspires desire simply by being herself, by existing in her own unique way. Her simplicity sometimes makes her naïve, however, as when she misunderstands her momentary passion for Anatole and makes absurd plans to elope with him. But Natasha repents her error with a sincerity that elicits forgiveness even from the wronged Andrew on his deathbed. Natasha’s spiritual development is not as philosophical or bookish as Pierre’s, but it is just as profound. She changes radically by the end of the novel, growing wise in a way that makes her Pierre’s spiritual equal.

More Help

Previous Next
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.

0 Comments

2 out of 3 people found this helpful

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.

1 Comments

1 out of 4 people found this helpful

See all 5 readers' notes   →