Thursday, May 20, 2010

Volume II, Book III, Chapter I

Andrei is traveling in the country, to look after his son’s estate (convenient). The little tyke has property, and Andrei is the executor.

In the two years (it’s now 1809, and Russia is so close to France they are jointly warring with Austria) that Andrei has lived in the country, he has put into effect many of the changes that Pierre suggested. Andrei, we’re told, has done so without any fanfare and with much more success.

So we see him on the road, and it’s Spring 1809. The footman mentions that it feels light, which Andrei does not believe. Instead, he sees an oak in the midst of all the birches. It says to him not to believe in anything. The young, slim birches all believe in Spring and are happy about it, but to him the oak says ”Spring and love and happiness!...And how is it you’re not bored with the same stupid, senseless deception! Always the same, always a deception! There is no spring, no sun, no happiness.”

Nice tree.

Luckily for us it’s Tolstoy and Andrei anthropomorphizing it. Either way, Andrei agrees with it, that ”Life is over”. He comes to the hopeless conclusion that he must live “”without doing evil, without anxiety, and without wishing for anything”

Not a happy camper out there. We’ll cross our fingers that things change.

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