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As an escape from his tortured existence, he turns to religion and community work. He starts reading portions of the scripture with other members of his organization and tries to learn moral lessons from them. He initiates new members into the fold and encourages them to do their duty. On the advice of Alekseyevich, he writes his thoughts down in his diary. Thus, he gives vent to his gloomy thoughts. He relates about Borisí visits to his home and his intimacy with Ellen. He also talks about the initiation of Boris into the fold of Free Masons. His jealousy and frustration make him dream of attractive women and his relationship with them. However, relating such things make him feel guilty. Thus, Pierre finds himself in an awkward situation and feels helpless about it.
Natasha is another character who undergoes transformation from an impressionable teenager to a young woman who knows her mind. In the past, she had appeared as a carefree youngster, having fun playing games, dancing and singing. Little things of life gave her pleasure and she was uninhibited in exhibiting her emotions. She conversed freely with others and easily became friendly with them. In the flush of teens, she had lost her heart to Boris and showered affection on him. Later, she had admired Denisov and made him propose to her. She had not encouraged them because she had got over her childish infatuation for them. However, after Andreiís arrival at Otradnoe, she experiences a different kind of emotion. She likes being with Andrei but is tongue-tied in his presence. In his absence, she longs for him and feels disturbed. A surge of emotions flood her heart and she relates her feelings to her mother. She is aware that she is in love with Andrei. Thus, when he proposes to her, she is relieved and delighted. And when he informs that they may have to wait for a year before getting married, she is forlorn. However, she is prepared to wait for her love. Natasha experiences love in the real sense only after meeting Andrei.
Part III of Book II ends on a note of hope for Andrei but desolation for Pierre. Tolstoy began this part with a philosophical note on the ironies of life and ends it too on that note. In the stream of life, some experience joy, others undergo suffering. Andrei and Pierre are good friends but ironically, they experience contradictory feelings under different circumstances. Andrei rises from the depth of sorrow to heights of bliss, while Pierre drops down from the realm of peace, acceptance and contentment to the abyss of frustration, rejection and isolation.