Monday, November 15, 2010

Volume III, Book II, Chapters X - XII


Marya is sitting around, locked in her room, lying on a couch, thinking about her “inner loathsomeness” for thinking as she did about her father and the possibility of his dying before he died. She’s interrupted by Mlle Bourienne, who gives her a leaflet from the French they’ve been dropping in the village asking the villagers to cooperate. Suddenly, hit with a bout of nationalism she runs up to Andrei’s study and calls for help. She asks Dunyasha to tell Bourienne to not come near her, and to leave quickly. She’s horrified at the thought of the French coming into their house, being treated well by Bourienne, and possibly taking liberties with her as well.
She calls Alpatych to see Dron, who finally comes to her. He explains that there are no horses for her to leave, and that there has been no food for them to eat.
She is shocked and says they can have the master’s grain, and anything they have is for the muzhiks. Dron once again asked to be relieved of his keys and his duty, which confuses her.

I don’t think it’s this chapter, but I can’t remember if I mentioned that the peasants were talking about setting the horses free rather than permit her to leave. I think they think it would be more dangerous if they were left alone, but also know that if she leaves they have no protector, either. So they’re forcing her to stay.


The muzhiks gather to talk to her. She addresses them, telling them that she is giving them all their grain, and whatever they’d like, and begs them to come with her to the Moscow estate where they will be taken care of.
They react badly, all talking about going into servitude, and being in bondage to her. They tell her to go by herself.
Strangely, none of them will look her in the eye. She leaves, asking Dron to have the horses ready for departure, and to be alone with her thoughts.

At this point, I was slightly confused, but it makes some sense – they don’t know what they’re being asked to do except abandon their lives and everything they’ve known to follow this woman. She doesn’t seem all that powerful or knowing, really. Just sad. So I’m sure it’s thinking she’s a clueless noble who wants to do good but doesn’t think about anyone else in it. Either way, I think it’s interesting no one will look her in the eye


Marya is obsessing about her father’s death, namely that she didn’t go to him when she felt that she should have, for fear of upsetting him, and all the while he wanted to see her. It seems like they had a reconciliation, but she feels she could have been there more for him.
She then remembers him in the coffin, and freaks herself out, basically.

She’s a fragile flower, that Marya. One has a to be a little careful with her, I think. She does love hating herself a lot. I guess you gotta have a hobby, right?

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