Saturday, April 10, 2010

Volume II, Book I, Chapter VI

Oh, boy - didn't leave a lot of time to write today.

Another chapter of Pierre frustration in which he is finally pushed to the breaking point. He is trying to figure out what to do with his wife, and is resolved to just get out of the house. He stays overnight, though, and she comes in and confronts him. Or, should I say, belittles, patronizes, shames him. Awful woman. She says, basically, that she didn't have an affair with Dolokhov, but she would have been justified in it if she had. And we also find out that she has repeatedly said she would not have children with him ever.

Pierre, for his part, knows he never loved her, but said so anyway, so he does feel some remorse. He feels its his own fault. He feels guilty, but it's clear that there was no love on either side. Sad.

He asks her to be quiet, she doesn't, and he finally picks up a marble slab and shouts "OUT!" so loud that everyone hears it. And it's intimated he would have possibly killed her if she wouldn't have left at that moment.

A week later he leaves for Petersburg, giving her the power of attorney to the bulk of his estate. I don't know if that was warranted to save her reputation, but it's clear that's what she and Vassily wanted anyway. Vile people.

Anyhow, Pierre is free and off to Petersburg. Helen gets what she wanted. Let's hope it doesn't last.

I have some more thoughts on that, and some things about Russian history I've recently learned. Also, just how brilliant these characters are - their actions make sense even know from what we know of psychology and development years before those theories. I'm sure they were in the ether, but it's just so well constructed. I'm awed at the breadth of it.

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