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MonkeyNotes-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
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The Rostovs are the next family that is introduced in this part of the novel. Count Rostov is a loving family man and a good friend. He is indulgent towards his wife and provides her with the luxuries of life. The Countess is a contented housewife and a loving mother. She is proud of her two younger children, Natasha and Nikolai and gives in to their wishes. Her elder daughter, Vera is haughty and tries to impose her will on Natasha. Natasha is a charming teenager full of life and love. Nikolai is a handsome young man who is waiting to enlist in the army. He is attracted to Sonya, his cousin. Sonya is an affectionate girl who is devoted to the Rostov family and loves Nikolai.

The Drubetskoys are the last family to be mentioned in the novel. Anna Mikhailovna is a cunning woman who befriends influential people to better the prospects of her son. Thus, she attends the party of Anna Pavlovna and asks Vasily to use his influence to get commission for Boris in the army. She pays a visit to Count Bezukhov with a view to secure a portion of his property for her son. Later, she plays the part of Pierre’s godmother and expects the latter to bestow favor on her son. Her son, Boris is smart, intelligent and ambitious but is embarrassed by his mother's hypocrisy.


Leo Tolstoy exposes the self-centered and hypocritical society of the nineteenth century Russia in the introductory part of the novel. Most of the characters in the novel are so busy pursuing their own interests, that they ignore the feelings of others. Prince Vasily is concerned about himself and his family and is not really bothered about the welfare of the old Count, his daughter or son. He pretends to care for Count Bezukhov because he expects the old man to gift his wealth to his children. He wants to deprive Pierre of his rights and hence, takes Princess Katerina into confidence to destroy a will in favor of Pierre. Similarly, Anna Mikhailovna befriends Vasily and Bezukhovs to gain favors for her son. Pierre who is ignored by everyone in the beginning, is surrounded by the same people after he inherits the Bezukhov estate.

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