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MonkeyNotes-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
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Book III: Part I

Summary

Book III takes us back to the war scene. Napoleon establishes himself in Poland and crosses over to Russia, violating the treaty with Aleksandr. When the Tsar of Russia hears about Napoleonís invasion, he sends a messenger to the French emperor asking him to withdraw his troops immediately from his territory. Balashev, Aleksandrís emissary, meets the French emperor at Vilna, in the same house from where he had taken orders from Aleksandr a few days ago. Napoleon blames Aleksandr for befriending his foes and thus, provoking him to wage war against Russia. He refuses to relent and withdraw his troops from Russia. Thus, the second phase of the war begins.

At home, Prince Andrei feels slighted by Anatol and vows to take revenge on the latter. With this intention, he makes a trip to Petersburg. Anatol gets knowledge of Andreiís intention and enlists himself in the army to escape punishment. Andrei is disappointed but reconciles to the idea of meeting Anatol in the war front. He meets Kutuzov and joins the Moldavian army under him. As Kutuzov mixes fun with work, Andrei works hard and proves himself a dedicated and disciplined soldier. Thirsting for a different kind of experience, Andrei seeks the permission of Kutuzov to join the western command. Before joining duty, he visits home. Betrayal of Natasha and deceit of Anatol take their toll on Andrei. He becomes bitter and finds it hard to shower love on his dear ones. Thus, when he meets his cherubic son, he feels no attachment for him. He does take pity on Marya for bearing all the taunts of his father. He is also revolted by his fatherís attitude towards Madam Bourienne. Thus, he expresses his displeasure to the old Prince, before he takes leave of him.

Andrei reaches the camp at Drissa to take orders. The Generals decides to consult the Sovereign before handing over the assignment to him. The Tsar asks Andrei about the position of the army in Turkey, as the Generals explain their strategy to the emperor. Shortly afterwards, Andrei is appointed as the Commander of the Chasseurs.


Nikolai Rostov is happy commanding the Pavlograd regiment in the place of Denisov. The junior officers respect him and trust his leadership. Thus, when a letter arrives from home asking him to return, he writes back expressing his inability to visit them. He is reluctant to leave the congenial surroundings of his camp. He is eager to lead his battalion to the battlefront. Shortly afterwards, he gets the opportunity to attack the enemy. He succeeds in capturing an enemy soldier and earns the accolades of his comrades.

Pierre becomes more sober. Though he keeps visiting places of disrepute, he is not any more bitter with life. He is drawn towards Natasha and visits her often to share her feelings. Natasha appreciates his gesture and is grateful to him. In an effort to regain self-control, she turns to religion and attends the Church regularly. She appears enlightened after accepting Communion.

Petya grows up to be a healthy and energetic boy of fifteen. His parents want him to pursue higher education but he decides to join the army. The countess is disconsolate but Petya makes his stand clear. The spirit of patriotism inspires him and after meeting the Tsar at a public function, he vows to serve for his country. The Tsar arrives in Moscow and all nobility gathers, to welcome him. Most of the guests talk about doing their best to serve the country and volunteer to donate a part of their wealth. Pierre gets influenced by the atmosphere around him and declares his intention to maintain ten thousand soldiers.

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