Six months have passed since Andrei left, and he sends Marya a letter telling of his engagement. HE said he would come home that minute and marry Natasha, but the doctors tell him he needs three more months at the spa. That's menacing....
She shows her father the letter, and that makes him sour and talk of death, or of marrying Mlle Bourienne. And he gets even meaner to Marya, who meanwhile fantasizes about being a Christian wanderer. She's even gotten the outfit. She thinks Andrei's wanting to attach his happiness to another woman after the death of his wife is foolish - that all bliss is no attachment. But she loses her resolve with her nephew and her father- she "loves them more than God" which is shameful to her.
I do love in Tolstoy's narrative how he goes into the mind of each character. His tone changes with each one. I do not question Marya's piety - he does not. And he doesn't make fun of it. I'd need to know more of his views before projecting if he himself has a message, but I don't doubt he does. I hear there's more philosophizing later, so I'll enjoy the characters for now.
6 months ago