Thursday, March 4, 2010

Volume I, Book II, Chapter XIII

Andrei finds his way back to the front of the front, or at least the front of the retreat. There’s much description of the teeming masses, of livestock and chattel -

on all sides…there was the noise of wheels, the rumbling of flatbeds, carts, and gun carriages, the thud of hooves, the crack of whips, the shouts of drivers, the cursing of soldiers, orderlies and officers. On the roadsides one constantly saw now dead horses, skinned or unskinned, now broken-down wagons, near which solitary soldiers sat waiting for something….”

In the midst of this Andrei manages to push past and sees Nesvitsky and his “handsome face”, eating something of course, with his “juicy mouth”. There’s that mouth thing again. Nesvitsky says it’s worse than it was with Mack, and says he could just escape to the mountains. Andrei manages to push forward to Kuzutov, and ends up being in the same carriage as the General, who orders him to stay with him, instead of staying with Prince Bagration. He is questioning Andrei about his visit with the Emperor at the close of the chapter.

I noticed again how Andrei was looking for his valet, how there seems to be a difference between the aristocracy and not, even when they are not necessarily high up as officers. Andrei is still a Prince, wherever he goes and whatever he does. He still has those expectations, as in this chapter when he stands up to an Officer who is telling him to go back, and whipping a fellow soldier. Andrei stands up to him, and the man stands down, just apathetic. He has that sense of entitlement, though, and he’s said how he wants this to be his shining moment.

And, since he runs into Nesvitsky so often, feels like a small world as well.

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