So after all that, I'm just making it a short one. I loved this chapter.
Andrei goes to visit Rostov, and all their people and coziness, and wouldn't you know it, the first thing he sees is Natasha running along in the woods. He also sees her on and off all day, always happy, and assumes that she's probably stupid, but still is charmed, or intrigued, rather. "What is she thinking about? Why is she so glad?"
Elder Rostov of course wants him to stay, and says papers haven't been brought from town, so Andrei has to stay over. In the night he gets up, he can't sleep, and the spring night seems as eager as Natasha--
"As soon as he opened the shutters, moonlight, as if it had been watching at the window for a long time waiting for that, burst into the room. He opened the window. The night was fresh and stilly bright. Just under his window was a row of rimmed trees, black on one side and silvery bright on the other. Under the trees was some juicy, wet, curly growth with touches of silver on its leaves and stems. Further beyond the black trees was some rood glistening with dew, to the right a big, curly tree witha bright white trunk and branches, and above it a nearly full moon against the light, nearly starless spring sky."
How beautiful is that? Spring is moist and bursting, juicy, silver, eager. And right at the moment he leans out the window, he hears voices above him, talking. It's two girls, Natasha and Sonya. Natasha can't sleep. She wants to play a game again. And Sonya is obviously tired.
"You sleep, I can't" Natasha says, and must be close, as he can hear her dress rustle and her breathing above him. He's afraid to move. Then she tells Sonya how she may spring up and fly. Sonya annoys her by telling her it's after one o'clock. She sits for a while in the window, still, with an occasional sigh, and finally says suddenly "Ah, my God, my God! what on earth is it! If it's sleep, it's sleep!" and slams the window.
What can Andrei think? He's confused, and unable to even comprehend what he is feeling - that she doesn't care about him, or even know who he is, and he is filled with "unexpected tangle of youthful thoughts and hopes, contradictory to his whole life."
This chapter is beautiful. I'm sure it's the most, I would say sexual, of what I've read so far. But it's more that the language and the action is so full - full of spring, of Andrei's thawing heart, and Natasha's unstoppable will for life. She's captivating to all. She's a great character, and he's been tantalizing with her so far.
I read a spoiler that she marries someone else, but it was when I first was reading so I could remember wrong. It's clear she's awakened something in Andrei, though.
It's such a great description of a spring night, though. I've had Sonya and Natasha warring in my head before. One sleepy, sensible, and the other wanting to miss not a single moment and experience as much of it as possible.
6 months ago