War and Peace
War and Peace is a novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russkii Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world's greatest novels. War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, marriage, age, and death. Though it is often called a novel today, it broke so many conventions of the form that it was not considered a novel in its time. Indeed, Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense. (From feedbooks.com)
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Part 1, Chapter 1
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One of the themes in this novel is the distinctions of social class. From the dialogue and the descriptions of these characters, it seems evident that they are
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was one of the most famous writers and moral thinkers in history. He was born into Russian aristocracy and was a veteran of the Crimean War. Both of these experiences informed the writing of this novel. (This annotation contains an image)
Prince Vassily feels _________________ his children.
Part 1, Chapter 2
Judging by the highlighted selection, Pierre seems to be
The characters' names can be very confusing in this novel. Russian aristocrats of this time went by many names. There were both formal and informal ways of addressing people, masculine and feminine ways of saying last names, and often people were called by French versions of their Russian names. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to each character of the younger generation by their familiar names and the older generation by their titled names in questions and annotations.
Part 1, Chapter 3
You will notice that although these young aristocrats are not royalty, they are called Prince and Princess. In Russia this is a title of nobility.
Describe the effect that Helene has on the room.
Pierre is so excited to be at a party with Russian high society, and so eager for intellectual debate, that he does not realize his manners are poor.
Part 1, Chapter 4
How does Andrew feel about his wife?
Tolstoy describes the party in such amazing depth because he wants readers to feel like they are there. In the highlighted paragraph, Tolstoy uses imagery to give a clear picture of how these characters are feeling during their interaction. Watch the video below and look for more examples of imagery as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1, Chapter 5
The narration could best be described as
Compare and contrast Pierre's views of Napoleon with those of the other partygoers.
They are referring to Napoleon Bonaparte, the military leader and Emperor of France. As a work of historical fiction, Tolstoy uses many real people and events in the telling of this story. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Even though Pierre (seen below in a movie version of the novel) had poor manners and argued politics with the other guests, one cannot help but see the goodness in him. (This annotation contains an image)
Here is an image of a postilion. Can you picture the aristocratic party guests being transported in one of these fancy carriages? (This annotation contains an image)
Bankrolled by his wealthy father, Pierre is having trouble
Part 1, Chapter 7
In 1805, the Russian nobility was very heavily influenced by the French. They spoke French, many were educated in France, and Napoleon was on his quest to bring all of Europe under French rule.
Andrew's tone towards Lise can best be described as
Have you ever been in a situation like Pierre before? Have you ever been with a couple while they were having a fight that should have been private?
Part 1, Chapter 8
Which theme is evident in the highlighted dialogue?
Pierre is an illegitimate son! That makes it quite shocking that he is accepted into 19th century high society.
Part 1, Chapter 9
What does it say about Pierre's character that he heads straight to Anatole's house after promising Andrew that he wouldn't?
Anatole is the son that Prince Vasili was despairing about in the opening of the novel. Here Anatole is taking a bet to drink a bottle of rum on the outer ledge of a third story window. Can you see why Andrew made Pierre promise not to associate with him?
What is Tolstoy's purpose in writing the highlighted paragraph?
Yes, they are literally wrestling a bear for fun in this scene. This is an odd Russian pastime, as you can see in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1, Chapter 10
The women are speaking of _______________ poor behavior.
Tolstoy is using the gossip between the women to develop characters. We are learning much about Pierre and his family through their dialogue. Watch the video below to learn more about how characters develop. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1, Chapter 11
How is Tolstoy characterizing Natasha? How does her entrance at this party differ from Helene's entrance at the earlier party?
Part 1, Chapter 12
Tolstoy is still introducing readers to major characters. War and Peace follows the stories of the Bolkonsky, Rostov, Bezukhov, and Kuragin families. These four families can be hard to keep track of. It might help you to make a family tree in your notes, like the one seen below. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Anna Mikhaylovna referring to in the highlighted selection?
Part 1, Chapter 13
Natasha (played below by Audrey Hepburn) is of the novel's main characters. In the beginning of the novel she is characterized by her extreme innocence. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following best describe Natasha in the highlighted selection?
Part 1, Chapter 14
"She seemed that day to be more than ever kind and affectionate to everyone." Natasha's heart is full of love and possibility after her kiss with Boris.
How does the Rostov family seem different from the other families we have met thus far?
Part 1, Chapter 15
Even though we are fifteen chapters in, Tolstoy is still setting up the plot. If you look at the plot diagram below, we are still in the Exposition. (This annotation contains an image)
How is Anna manipulating Prince Vasili in this scene? Do you think it is working?
Part 1, Chapter 16
"Pierre had taken part in tying a policeman to a bear." Have you ever known anyone who would do something as crazy as this? What do you predict for Pierre's character next?
"Pierre shook his head and arms as if attacked by mosquitoes or bees" is an example of
Boris tells Pierre that his mother would never ask Pierre's father for money, yet that is the entire purpose of their visit. This is an example of dramatic irony, when readers know something that the characters do not. Watch the video below to learn more about dramatic irony. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1, Chapter 17
Countess Rostova can best be described as
The Count and Countess Rostov are a kind and loving couple. This will set them apart from many other couples in the novel.
Part 1, Chapter 18
What is Tolstoy saying here about Berg's character? Have you ever known anyone like Berg?
No wonder Marya is known as "le terrible dragon." She immediately lectures Pierre for pulling the stunt with the bear and policeman while his father is on his deathbed.
Part 1, Chapter 19
According to the colonel, why is Russia going to war against Napoleon?
Tolstoy wants to highlight Natasha's innocence for the readers here. She interrupts the adults' talk of war to ask about dessert.
Part 1, Chapter 20
Why is Sonya upset?
Sonya is in love with Nicholas, her cousin (and Natasha's brother). This was not looked down upon during this era.
What is going through Natasha's mind as she dances with Pierre?
"Ma chere" is a French term of endearment. It translates to "my dear." The French influence is very strong amongst the Russian aristocracy, even though Russia has just declared war on France.
Part 1, Chapter 21
The mood in this scene could best be described as
"'Do you or do you not know where the will is?' insisted Price Vasili, his cheeks twitching more than ever."Prince Vasili is
Prince Vasili is worried that Pierre will inherit his father's estate, even though he is illegitimate.
Part 1, Chapter 22
Anna is helping Pierre sneak into his dying father's chambers, but Pierre is having second thoughts.
"... the big stout figure of Pierre who, hanging his head, meekly followed her." It seems clear that Pierre is one of the protagonists of the novel, but Tolstoy does not describe him as a typical heroic protagonist. Why do you think this is so?
Pierre is having an internal conflict in the highlighted paragraph. Watch the video on conflict below and ask yourself why Pierre is so uncertain how he should address his father. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1, Chapter 23
Pierre is the focus of everyone's attention because
This ceremony is known as the unction, as seen in the painting below. It is the religious ceremony of last rites before a Russian Orthodox person dies. (This annotation contains an image)
Pierre is very ____________ at his father's deathbed.
Part 1, Chapter 24
This description of Pierre watching the ladies who would attend balls at his father's house further solidifies his role as always having been an outsider.
Pierre, the likely heir of his father's fortune, was not allowed to take part in the family discussion until this moment. What does this say about both Pierre and his role in the family?
This quote by Pierre highlights death as a motif in the novel. In literature, a motif is something that is repeated throughout a novel for a deeper symbolic meaning. This is the first of many deaths that will occur in War and Peace. Watch the video below to learn more about motif and look for examples of death as a motif as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1, Chapter 25
Tolstoy's description of Andrew's father, Prince Bolkonski, shows readers that he is
Tolstoy now moves the setting to the countryside to introduce readers to Andrew's family.
Prince Bolkonsky tells his daughter that he will read the third letter she gets from her friend. Does it surprise you to hear that teenagers had no privacy from their parents in 19th century Russia?
Judging by the highlighted description and the scene we just read, how does Tolstoy want readers to feel about Mary?
Julie's letter catches Mary up on the events we have been reading about in the previous chapters.
What does Mary think of our protagonist, Pierre? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
The fact that Mary won't let others criticize her father, who is clearly a conflicted character and quite cruel to her, speaks of great kindness on her part.
Part 1, Chapter 26
At the reunion between the siblings, Andrew acts _________ and Mary is ____________.
Do you remember earlier in the novel how Andrew seems to despise his wife? It looks as if nothing has changed.
Andrew is animatedly explaining the war to his father, and Prince Bolkonsky seems to be
Part 1, Chapter 27
Mary, seen in the painting below, cannot believe that Andrew would be so bold as to laugh at any action by their father. (This annotation contains an image)
Prince Bolkonsky rudely ignores his daughter-in-law at the table. While Pierre's bad manners are caused by him being unaware, the Prince is just plain rude.
What are Lise's feelings toward Prince Bolkonsky? Do you think they are justified?
Part 1, Chapter 28
What does Andrew ask of his father?
Tolsty uses a simile to compare Prince Bolkonsky's nose blowing to pistol shots. Everything about him hints at brutality.
It is said that the eyes are the windows of the soul, and that seems to be especially true for Mary.
Part 2, Chapter 1
Kutuzov was a real Russian army commander. This is yet another example of Tolstoy blending the real with the fictitious, as is common in the genre of historical fiction. (This annotation contains an image)
Where does Part Two Open?
Here is an image of how the Imperial Russian Army soldiers would have looked in 1805. (This annotation contains an image)
Here we again meet Anatole Dolokhov, Pierre's drinking buddy and brother of the beautiful Helene.
Part 2, Chapter 2
Why do you think Tolstoy has shifted from showing readers domestic life to the army?
Andrew and Anatole now find themselves with the same army regiment. Do you remember how Andrew made Pierre promise he would cease his friendship with Anatole?
What kind of reputation does Anatole have in the army?
The Russian and Austrian armies are presumably readying to fight the French army at the battle of Austerlitz, seen in the painting below. (This annotation contains an image)
What influences the tone of the conversation between Anatole and Zherkov?
Part 2, Chapter 3
Have you ever given anyone a smile with a hidden meaning behind it like this one?
It hasn't been long since we saw Andrew in is father's house
Look how quickly the mood of the scene changes with the appearance of the general. Watch the video below for more information on mood. (This annotation contains a video)
This quote shows that Andrew is becoming
Part 2, Chapter 4
How do you interpret the highlighted lines? Do you think these are important ideas in the novel? Why or why not?
This is an odd reaction. Was it because young Nicholas (seen below) was only recently living a carefree life with his sister Natasha and has now found himself far from everything familiar? Nicholas wanted to go to war so badly. Perhaps he realizes that he had not thought it through. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is an image of an antique saber. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2, Chapter 5
At the root of Nicholas getting into trouble is
Part 2, Chapter 6
Tolstoy researched the military campaigns of early 19th century Russia fanatically for this novel. He even went so far as to visit the battlegrounds and walk them, mapping out where the action had taken place. Tolstoy's aim was to write something that was more historically accurate than the history books. (This annotation contains an image)
This line of dialogue is meant to showcase the ___________ of some of the soldiers.
Note the imagery in the highlighted sentence. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to include these bright and joyous images as the men are marching off to war?
Part 2, Chapter 7
One of the themes of this novel is the brutality of war. How is this theme beginning to emerge? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
How do you think these scenes would be different if Tolstoy were writing about today's military?
Part 2, Chapter 8
Nicholas is about to see his first combat. Tolstoy describes his anticipation as
Grapeshot was a mass of small metal balls used for ammunition. (This annotation contains an image)
Tolstoy is using short exclamative sentences in the dialogue to
Again we see Tolstoy juxtapose the beauty of nature with the horrors of battle. Below is an image of the Danube river. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the colonel's reply reflect the theme of the brutality of war?
Part 2, Chapter 9
Andrew always seems very ready to think highly of himself, doesn't he?
Why is Andrew offended?
Part 2, Chapter 10
Do you find it odd that, even though Russia is at war with France, the Russian aristocrats still like to speak to each other in French?
"They received me and my news as one receives a dog in a game of skittles" is an example of
Vienna, Austria's capitol, has fallen to Napoleon as seen in the painting below. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2, Chapter 11
Which of the novel's themes does the highlighted paragraph reflect?
They are referring to Ippolit, Anatole's brother.
Part 2, Chapter 12
At the palace, Andrew is treated like a
Andrew is learning that the bridge has been blown up by the French. This is an example of how quickly everything can change in war.
Andrew's intentions are
Part 2, Chapter 13
What does it say about Andrew's character that he is so affected by this scene?
This scene stands in stark contrast to what Andrew has just experienced.
Part 2, Chapter 14
Do you remember how carefully Tolstoy researched everything related to the war for this novel? We have to assume that all accounts of how the war is proceeding are historically accurate.
This letter to Prince Murat from Napoleon that Tolstoy included is real. (This annotation contains an image)
"... not one of them knew or imagined what was in store for him" is an example of foreshadowing. Watch the video below to learn more about foreshadowing and look for more examples as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 2, Chapter 15
"They talked of peace but did not believe in its possibility; others talked of battle but also disbelieved the nearness of an engagement" is a statement of
Latrines are public toilets used by soldiers during wartime. They are still used today, as you can see below. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2, Chapter 16
The mood of this paragraph could best be described as
"The ground seemed to groan at the terrible impact" is an example of
Part 2, Chapter 17
Tolstoy wants these battle scenes to be a juxtaposition from the peaceful scenes of domestic life we have witnessed. Which of his writing do you prefer: the war or the peace?
Reread the highlighted sentence. How is Tolstoy using imagery to paint a scene of the battle for his readers?
Part 2, Chapter 18
Oftentimes war is written about as a heroic endeavor. Tolstoy's mission was to write about war as realistically as he could. Do these descriptions of the wounded and fallen men make you think of war as brutal or glorious?
At present, this soldier's main concern is
Part 2, Chapter 19
How often do you think this happens in battles? Do you fault the soldier for not delivering the order, or do you understand why he is too frightened?
The commander is
Young Nicholas cannot imagine that these soldiers are trying to kill him. He was so eager to join the army and ride into battle, but was too innocent to realize the real danger and brutality of it.
Part 2, Chapter 20
It seems that every major male character except for Pierre is in this battle. Tolstoy just checked in with Nicholas and is now showing us Anatole. Why do you think he is showing us this battle from all of these different perspectives?
Can you picture these fearsome soldiers with the expressions of embarrassed children on their faces?
Andrew is suddenly
Part 2, Chapter 21
Poor young Nicholas. He has come a long way since we first met him at his parents' house.
"Tremulous rumble" is an example of
It is clear from this description that Tolstoy has much sympathy for this captured soldier.
Nicholas is badly wounded and can only think of happy times at his family's home. What is Tolstoy's purpose in writing this contradiction?
Part 3, Chapter 1
Now that Pierre is incredibly wealthy, Prince Vasili is trying to get him to marry his daughter, the beautiful Helene (seen below). (This annotation contains an image)
Tolstoy describes Prince Vasili as
Pierre has noticed that other people treat him much differently now that he is a wealthy man.
What does Pierre think of Helene?
While it might not seem like it by today's standards, this writing was very steamy for the 19th century!
Describe Pierre's internal conflict in regards to Helene.
Part 3, Chapter 2
Despite Prince Vasili's attempts to get Pierre to propose to Helene, Pierre remains wise and knows that it would not be a good idea. Will he be able to hold out?
The highlighted selection reflects the theme of _______________________ in the novel.
Tolstoy uses imagery to show us that the attention of the partygoers is entirely focused on Pierre and Helene.
How does Helene's mother feel about the relationship?
Prince Vasili grew tired of waiting for Pierre to propose, so he pretends that it has already happened and the pair are newly engaged. Do you think Pierre will correct him on this?
What do you make of this comment of Pierre's? Does he believe it or is he trying to convince himself?
Part 3, Chapter 3
We already knew that Prince Bolkonsky (Mary and Andrew's father) is tempestuous, but this scene shows just how awful he can be. Knowing that Prince Vasili and Anatole are going to be visiting, he orders his servants to fill the driveway up with snow so their carriage will have a hard time approaching the house!
Why has Lise's appearance changed?
Tolstoy wants for readers to know he believes that beauty is on the inside. Contrast Mary, with her plain appearance and kind heart, to Helene, with her beautiful appearance and questionable character.
Why are they fussing over Mary's appearance so?
Part 3, Chapter 4
Here Tolstoy is giving us Mary's perspective as she enters the room. How do you think this paragraph would be different if it were from the perspective of Anatole?
Prince Bolkonsky's tone could best be described as
The highlighted sentence reflects which of the following themes?
It seems odd to us that Mary is thinking of marriage with how little she knows Anatole, but in this era engagements were quick and set up for the benefit of the families.
Paris (seen below in 1805) was the height of society. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 3, Chapter 5
A valet (seen here in an image from the show Downtown Abbey) was a servant whose job it is to get their master dressed. (This annotation contains an image)
How is this statement by Prince Bolkonsky vastly out of character? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
Mary's character is so forgiving that even in the face of Mademoiselle Bourienne's betrayal, she is not angry with her.
Mary could best be described as
Part 3, Chapter 6
Now we are back with the loving Rostov family. They have been eagerly awaiting news of Nicholas, which has just arrived via a letter.
Young Petya could best be described as
While Sonya has remained true to Nicholas, Natasha has fallen in love with many men since Boris. Do you know anyone who is in love with falling in love like Natasha?
How do these thoughts of Countess Rostova reflect the theme of the importance of family relationships?
Part 3, Chapter 7
These days soldiers live in military barracks while they are fighting, but in this era soldiers were "quartered," meaning that civilians would have to open up their houses to give groups of rowdy soldiers room and board.
With this description, Tolstoy conveys that Nicholas feels
Nicholas throws away a letter that would get him a safer job within the army. He likes the danger of a soldier's life.
Explain in your own words why Nicholas decides to embellish his story.
Nicholas' statement highlights some ideas about masculinity here. Do you think Tolstoy agrees with Nicholas?
Part 3, Chapter 8
"Like wind over leaves ran an excited whisper" is an example of
Alexander I was the Emperor of Russia from 1801-1825. Tolstoy making a real Emperor a character in this novel is another example of the historical fiction genre. (This annotation contains an image)
The sight of the Emperor
Part 3, Chapter 9
This moment highlights the theme of the distinctions of social class. Boris realizes that, even in the military during wartime, social class distinctions trump all.
What is Tolstoy saying about Andrew's character in the highlighted paragraph?
How would you address a letter to your enemy?
Part 3, Chapter 10
Why is Nicholas depressed?
This adoration might seem severe to us, but emperors, like kings and queens, were the subject of reverence amongst their subjects.
This quote represents the theme of
Part 3, Chapter 11
The Emperor was deeply affected by seeing the dead and wounded.
Tolstoy is using an extended metaphor to compare the army to a clock. What makes up the basis for this comparison? Do you think it is an effective metaphor?
Part 3, Chapter 12
This is an excellent metaphor for being caught up in something you have no control over.
What does General Kutuzov do during the meeting?
"Soporific" means something that induces sleep. Evidently these war councils are boring and tedious!
What does Kutuzov say is the most important thing?
Part 3, Chapter 13
Tolstoy now cuts to Nicholas who is riding on his horse nodding in and out of sleep. What do you think Tolstoy's intent was with all of the imagery and conversation about sleep?
What finally banishes the thought of sleep from Nicholas' mind?
Note the similarities between this scene and the one where Alexander I rode horseback amongst the Russian troops. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 3, Chapter 14
We have seen Tolstoy use an extended metaphor comparing the army to a clock, and now we see another extended metaphor. What does this metaphor compare? Why do you think Tolstoy uses extended metaphors in his writing?
Watch the video below on pacing. In general, this is a slow-paced novel, but Tolstoy speeds up the pacing (in the form of hurried dialogue here) to build tension during some of the scenes involving the military. (This annotation contains a video)
The fog creates a mood of _____________ amongst the soldiers.
Part 3, Chapter 15
A musket is an early model of gun. (This annotation contains an image)
"This unpleasant impression merely flitted over the young and happy face of the Emperor like a cloud of haze across a clear sky and vanished" is an example of
Tolstoy was intent on showing the true face of war, and to write a novel far more realistic on the subject than had ever been written before. Usually in depictions of battles, everything happens so quickly, but Tolstoy wants readers to know that, in actuality, there is a lot of waiting around.
Part 3, Chapter 16
What does Kutuzov mean when he says, "The wound is not here, it is there"?
As Andrew is lying wounded in battle, he looks up at the beauty of the sky. Suddenly, everything is alright. Do you remember when Nicholas had a similar moment looking at the Danube?
Part 3, Chapter 17
Why is Nicholas happy?
Nicholas, with all of his young bravado, is having a moment where he realizes all of the danger he is actually in.
Part 3, Chapter 18
Nicholas' tone could best be described as
Nicholas is starstruck seeing the Emperor and doesn't know how to react. Could you imagine what you would do if you suddenly came face-to-face with our President? (This annotation contains an image)
How is Tolstoy using imagery in the highlighted paragraph to foreshadow the fate of these men?
Part 3, Chapter 19
Napoleon himself saves Andrew!
Napoleon treats the wounded enemy soldiers with
War and Peace Quiz One
Part 4, Chapter 1
Tolstoy now returns back to domestic life. Nicholas is returning home from the war. Note how these peaceful domestic chapters contrast with the ones we have just read.
Sonya was "waiting for the look for which she longed." The look Sonya is waiting for is a(n) _____________ one.
The family is overjoyed to be reunited. Natasha cannot contain her youthful excitement.
Nicholas asks Natasha if she is still true to Boris. What is her reply and which character traits does it highlight?
Vera serves as an interesting character foil for her exuberant siblings. A character foil is a character who contrasts qualities of another character. Can you see how Vera and Natasha behave and think very differently?
Part 4, Chapter 2
Which of the following statements most accurately describes Nicholas' feelings towards Sonya?
The Rostov's preparations for their feast stand in stark contrast to what we have seen of the lifestyle of those on the front lines of the war.
Which subject is hard for Moscow's aristocracy to discuss?
Here is another example of dramatic irony. Readers know that Andrew was rescued by Napoleon himself and is being nursed back to health, while Moscow society thinks that he perished in battle.
Part 4, Chapter 3
"By his age he should have belonged to the younger men, but by his wealth and connections he belonged to the groups old and honored guests, and so he went from one group to another."How does this statement about Pierre at the party reflect what we know of Pierre's character? Which main traits is Tolstoy highlighting here?
A salver is a silver tray for serving food. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 4, Chapter 4
Pierre seems troubled at the party because
Pierre's internal conflict becomes a physical one in this paragraph. Have you ever felt like something was brewing inside of you that suddenly burst forth?
What does Pierre do to Dolokhhov?
Part 4, Chapter 5
Watch the video below of this scene from the 1956 movie version of this novel. (This annotation contains a video)
What are the similarities and differences between the text and the movie? Did seeing it affect you differently than just reading it would have?
Part 4, Chapter 6
Pierre is grappling with everything that is wrong with his marriage.
What does Pierre realize about Helene?
"... there was a weight on his chest and he could not breathe." It sounds like Pierre is suffering from what today would be called a panic attack.
Part 4, Chapter 7
Prince Bolkonsky telling Mary that Andrew has been killed is an example of
Confinement refers to the traditional practice of a woman being shut away from the world during the last months of her pregnancy.
Part 4, Chapter 8
Describe Lise's labor in your own words. How is it different than when a woman gives birth today?
Part 4, Chapter 9
Lise's suffering is so great she seems not to comprehend that Andrew is there.
Tolstoy repeats this phrase again. The purpose of this is
Part 4, Chapter 10
Tolstoy says that the Rostov house was a happy place filled with beautiful young girls who were becoming women. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the fall of 1806 bring?
Part 4, Chapter 11
Remember how Natasha said she was swearing off men to focus on ballet? Here is a ballerina dancing the pas de chale. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 4, Chapter 12
Here is an image of Natasha dancing at the ball. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following best characterizes Natasha's behavior upon entering the ball?
Part 4, Chapter 13
The highlighted dialogue introduces the theme of
There is unspoken tension between Nicholas and Dolokhov since Sonya turned down Dolokhov's proposal.
Part 4, Chapter 14
Dolokhov has decided that he is going to pressure Nicholas to keep gambling until he is 43,000 rubles in debt to him since 43 is his age combined with Sonya's.
Why do you think that Nicholas has let his gambling losses climb so high? Why didn't he walk away long ago?
Part 4, Chapter 15
We see again the love that the members of the Rostov family have for each other that sets them apart from most of the characters in the novel.
In this paragraph, Natasha seems very
This scene is similar to the ones earlier in the novel where young men are transported away from the horrors of war by the beauty of nature. Here it is the beauty of music that is transporting Nicholas away from his troubles.
Part 4, Chapter 16
Count Rostov's reaction to Nicholas' news is one of
Countess Rostova's comment and tone convey which of the following beliefs?
Denisov broke social mores by proposing directly to Natasha without consulting her parents first.
Part 5, Chapter 1
What frame of mind is Pierre in as he journeys to Petersburg? Why do you think he is feeling this way?
"All we can know is that we know nothing. And that's the height of human wisdom." Do you think Tolstoy agrees with Pierre here? Do you agree with Pierre?
Part 5, Chapter 2
The Freemasons are an ancient and secret organization. Many of America's Founding Fathers were Freemasons. (This annotation contains an image)
The "Him" the Mason is referring to is
Tolstoy himself was a Christian philosopher, so our protagonist having a religious conversion is not unexpected.
Who does Pierre now realize is to blame for his troubles?
Part 5, Chapter 3
Thomas a Kempis was a medieval author who wrote books on Christian devotion. Pierre's conversation with the stranger had a great impact on him spiritually and philosophically. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you make of this initiation ceremony?
Below is a painting of a Freemason initiation ceremony. Does this help you visualize this scene? (This annotation contains an image)
Pierre says that his greatest vice is
Part 5, Chapter 4
A trowel is used for spreading cement. The Freemasons celebrate their roots as an organization of stone masons. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 5, Chapter 5
"... Helene is as innocent before you as Christ was before the Jews" is an example of
We have never before seen Pierre stand up for himself. Has his character gone through a drastic change?
Part 5, Chapter 6
How has Boris changed since we initially met him as Natasha's beau?
Pierre has become a cautionary tale within the aristocracy.
Part 5, Chapter 8
"... and from the seat of war came contradictory news..."Seat of war refers to
Below is a photograph of Lysye Gory, translated to Bald Hills, where the Bolkonsky family lives. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Andrew not want to join the war effort?
Part 5, Chapter 9
You will notice that there are many metaphors used when describing war. We have already seen "seat of war" and now we see "first act." This refers to the opening of a battle.
How has parenthood changed Andrew? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
Part 5, Chapter 10
A steward is someone who looks over the land and supervises farmers under the feudal system. (This annotation contains an image)
Which temptation does Pierre give in to while visiting his land?
Pierre's steward is presenting a false picture to him of how well the serfs live on his land, and Pierre buys it.
Part 5, Chapter 11
What about Andrew surprises Pierre?
Pierre was looking forward to visiting his old friend Andrew, but they have found that conversation is hard and they no longer have anything in common. Has this ever happened to you?
Philosophical conversation has breathed life into Pierre and Andrew's friendship. Whose views do you find yourself agreeing with more? Why?
Andrew has vowed never to serve in the army again. Do you think he will be able to stick to this? (This annotation contains an image)
Part 5, Chapter 12
Which character trait of Pierre's do we see in the highlighted paragraph that we have seen time and again?
Andrew says that he has been changed by his wife's death. Do you remember that in the beginning of the novel he could barely stand her?
Yet again, a character has a transcendent experience while appreciating nature. Nature can be considered a(n) ______________ in the novel.
Part 5, Chapter 13
Many religions have long espoused going on pilgrimages (long journeys by foot) as a spiritual practice. Mary has take some of these people in. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the highlighted sentence say about both Mary and Andrew? What does it say about their relationship?
Part 5, Chapter 14
Mary confesses to Pierre that she is very worried about Andrew and his silent suffering.
When Pierre leaves the Bolkonsky's the family says only good things about him. Usually after Pierre leaves, people talk about
Part 5, Chapter 15
The amount of Nicholas' gambling debt is more than four years' worth of his soldier pay!
Despite his words, Denisov's tone here can best be described as
Part 5, Chapter 16
Trenches were a common fixture of war. In this picture from 1918, a soldier is getting a haircut in his trench. (This annotation contains an image)
Why did Denisov seize the transport?
The process of bloodletting is one of the oldest known medical practices. Now, of course, we know that it actually weakens the body. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 5, Chapter 17
Describe the hospital from Nicholas' perspective. How do you think it differs from military hospitals today?
Tolstoy, pictured below in his military uniform, served as a journalist in the Crimean War. These descriptions are likely very close to what he saw. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 5, Chapter 18
This description of Denisov aligns most closely to one of
Part 5, Chapter 19
Below is a painting of Napoleon and Alexander meeting to sign the Treaties of Tilsit. (This annotation contains an image)
Nicholas is noticing that suddenly people feel _________________ towards the French.
Part 5, Chapter 20
Here is another painting of the two Emperors at the time of the treaty. (This annotation contains an image)
"I cannot, because the law is stronger than I."What does the Emperor mean by this?
Part 5, Chapter 21
Napoleon being short was, in actuality, a myth. He was about 5'7" while the average French man would have measured at 5'5" during this time.
While everyone around him is celebrating, Nicholas is
Part 5, Chapter 22
Now that the war treaty is signed, our characters can get back to what Tolstoy calls "real life."
Part 6, Chapter 1
Which motif is evident in the highlighted paragraph?
Tolstoy is using personification to convey the thoughts of the oak tree. Watch the video below to learn more about personification and look for examples as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 6, Chapter 2
What intrigues Andrew about Natasha?
Watch the short video below of the scene you have just read and answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Notice that the movie had more dialogue than the novel in this scene. What purpose do you think that served? Would Tolstoy have approved of the meaning behind the added dialogue?
Part 6, Chapter 3
Andrew has had an epiphany-- a sudden realization that occurs when something is seen in a new light.
Andrew's tone could best be described as
Part 6, Chapter 4
Count Arakcheev was a real person. Just like his character, he was known for his fiery temper. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 6, Chapter 5
"... he felt that now, in 1809, here in Petersburg a vast civil conflict was in preparation" is another way of saying that
Andrew is becoming famous in Petersburg for having freed his serfs.
How do the ideas of Montesquieu as described above show their influence in Andrew? How do they align with the underlying message of this novel?
Montesquieu was a philosopher of the French Enlightenment. He advocated on behalf of separation of powers and against tyranny. Montesquieu is credited for many ideas behind the United States' constitution. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 6, Chapter 6
Speranski is another real character in the novel. He was an advisor to Alexander and is considered the father of Russian liberalism. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 6, Chapter 7
What has Pierre been doing for the past two years?
Below is a picture of a Freemason lodge from around this time. The Freemasons attracted very wealthy members and their lodges were very ornate. (This annotation contains an image)
Using the Define feature, when Pierre is accused of "Illuminism," what is he accused of?
Part 6, Chapter 8
Joseph Alexeevich was the man Pierre met while traveling who first told Pierre about Freemasonry.
Pierre has taken Helene back. What are his feelings about this, and about her?
Part 6, Chapter 9
Salons were intellectual gatherings that began in Europe in the 17th century. The painting below is of a salon in Moscow. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 6, Chapter 10
What is the structure of this chapter?
It's hard to imagine that four years have already passed since the duel!
Pierre's dream is symbolic of
Part 6, Chapter 11
Tolstoy is now going to catch us up on how the Rostov family has been faring for the past two years.
Berg is socially beneath Vera, yet her family consented to the marriage. Why? Cite examples from the text in your answer.
Dowry was property or money brought by a wife into her marriage. The dowry is an ancient practice and is extinct in most of the world. In parts of Asia some now consider it to be a human rights issue. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 6, Chapter 12
"... she could not be his wife, that he had no means, and they would never let her marry him." Which of the novel's themes does the above sentence highlight?
Part 6, Chapter 13
It seems crazy to us now that sixteen was an acceptable age to get married. Shakespeare's Juliet was only thirteen!
Natasha has synesthesia, a neurological phenomena where one sense is simultaneously perceived by another sense. In literature, characters with synesthesia are often portrayed as romantic. Does this sound like Natasha? (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the countess accusing Natasha of flirting with in the highlighted passage?
Part 6, Chapter 14
The Taurida Gardens remain one of the most historic places in Saint Petersburg. (This annotation contains an image)
Tolstoy is discussing Natasha's preparation for the ball. Compare/contrast this to modern-day preparations for a big dance.
Part 6, Chapter 15
Tolstoy is using very rich imagery here to describe the scene at the ball.
"Pierre, swaying his stout body, advanced, making his way through the crowd and nodding right to left as casually and good-naturedly as if he were passing through a crowd at a fair" is an example of
What is Natasha's reaction to seeing Pierre?
Part 6, Chapter 16
Pierre implores Andrew to ask Natasha to dance. Watch the video below before reading on. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 6, Chapter 17
How does the movie clip differ from the novel? How is it the same?
Note the contrast here between Pierre and Natasha's dispositions at the ball.
Part 6, Chapter 18
What attracts Pierre to Natasha?
Something has caused a dramatic shift in Andrew. People that he respected and things that were meaningful seem insignificant to him now.
What do you make of Andrew's change of heart? Was he wrong then, or is he wrong now?
Part 6, Chapter 19
It seems that Andrew is falling in love with Natasha, and is finally banishing the depression he has been under since Lise's death.
Part 6, Chapter 20
Berg explaining to his wife that one should be friends with people who are "above" them is humorous because
Tolstoy is injecting some great commentary on gender roles and marriage here!
Part 6, Chapter 21
What does Pierre notice about Natasha?
Are you surprised that there was ever a time when it was so commonplace and acceptable for cousins to fall in love?
Part 6, Chapter 22
Readers have now seen Natasha fall in love with quite a few different men, and swear off men altogether to be a ballet dancer. Do you think that her feelings for Andrew will make this time different? Why or why not?
Poor Pierre. Andrew is incapable of seeing his friend's unhappiness the same way Natasha was incapable of seeing it at the ball.
Part 6, Chapter 23
"Her tears were those of an offended child who does not know why it is being punished" is an example of
"She wanted to love him as a son, but felt that to her he was a stranger and a terrifying man." It seems odd to us that the Countess would have given Andrew her permission to marry Natasha while feeling this way, but we must remember that in these days marriage courtship more closely resembled business partnerships amongst people who hardly know each other than what it is like today. This is an advantageous match for Natasha, who is of marrying age. That was all that was commonly needed.
What is Tolstoy's intent in writing the highlighted paragraphs?
Part 6, Chapter 24
The Rostov family begins to view the union of Andrew and Natasha as fated. Yet again we see the theme of free will vs. fate in the novel. Watch the video below for more information on theme. Have you noticed any other themes we haven't yet discussed? (This annotation contains a video)
What does Andrew tell Natasha and Sonya about Pierre? Is it true in your estimation of Pierre's character?
Part 6, Chapter 25
Do all girls dream of marrying their brothers to their best friends? Do you think this is a true statement from Tolstoy?
How is the highlighted passage an example of dramatic irony? Cite examples from the text in your answer.
Part 6, Chapter 26
Prince Bolkonsky's statement about his death is an example of hyperbole, or an extreme exaggeration. Watch the video below to learn more about hyperbole. Was the Prince's use of hyperbole effective in getting his point across here? (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Mary consider herself a sinner?
Part 7, Chapter 1
It is peacetime and Nicholas has been enjoying himself. He has no desire to go back home to his family and help clean up the financial mess he left his family with when his father covered his gambling debt.
Which family member does Nicholas find to be the most changed?
Part 7, Chapter 2
Nicholas' treatment of Mitenka sounds like a reprehensible way for an employer to behave, but we have to remember that Mitenka isn't his employee, he is his serf and, therefore, has no rights. Tolstoy was obviously not a fan of the feudal system or its repercussions.
Which other character have we seen try to involve themselves in the business of running their estate and then bow out similarly?
Part 7, Chapter 3
Hunting was not like it is like today, especially not the way Nicholas enjoys to hunt. Hunting was a big social outing enjoyed by the aristocracy. If you thought about hunting then compared to now, the experience is more closely aligned to golfing at a country club. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Tolstoy trying to say about gender roles here?
Part 7, Chapter 4
"The horses stepped over the field as over a thick carpet" is an example of
Russia has a large population of grey wolves, also known as the Middle Russian Forest wolf. They weigh around 150-170 pounds and are very dangerous. While the population is now protected, then they were thought of as pests and there were organized efforts to eradicate them. (This annotation contains an image)
The selected paragraphs highlight the idea of
What do you make of Count Rostov's encounter with the wolf. Do you understand why he didn't shoot?
Part 7, Chapter 5
What do you think of Nicholas' opinion of his luck? Is he truly unlucky, or does he bring some of it upon himself?
Just as Tolstoy does not shy away from showing brutality in battle scenes, he does not shy away from showing us the brutality of hunting over these next pages.
It is ____________ that Tolstoy ends an incredibly violent and disturbing scene with "a shy, childlike, meek, and amiable smile."
Part 7, Chapter 6
Note how much Tolstoy makes the hunt sound like a battle here.
"... slender but with muscles like steel" is an example of
Below is a painting of borzoi dogs hunting a wolf. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 7, Chapter 7
Which of the novels themes is expressed in the highlighted sentences? When have we seen this before?
Watch the short video below of Russian folk music. The man in the band is playing a balalayka, which is like a guitar. (This annotation contains a video)
In this passage, Tolstoy's writing conveys
Have you ever had an experience with someone that you have known for your whole life that suddenly brought you closer and given you a deeper understanding of them? This is the evening that Natasha has had with their Uncle.
Part 7, Chapter 8
Describe Countess Rostova's plan to get the family out of debt in your own words. Does this plan surprise you?
Countess Rostova is such a good and kindhearted woman that she is incapable of making her son marry someone he doesn't love for money, even though such marriages were customary.
Part 7, Chapter 9
Natasha's tone could best be described as
Natasha is both bored and lovesick in this chapter.
Part 7, Chapter 10
Tolstoy's writing conveys a _______________________ mood in this scene.
This is the second time we have heard of the Countess having a sense of foreboding about Natasha's union. Do you think that Tolstoy is foreshadowing something? (This annotation contains an image)
Mummers were costumed Christmas carolers. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Nicholas mean when he says, "That used to be Sonya"?
Tolstoy is using rich imagery here to emphasize the magical quality the night has taken. Can you feel it?
Part 7, Chapter 11
In America, this is the kind of story that one would most likely hear
Nicholas has discovered he is still in love with Sonya, who has loved him faithfully this whole time. Do you predict that Nicholas' feelings will last, or was he just influenced by the magic of this night?
Part 7, Chapter 12
What does Nicholas seeing "both the old and the new Sonya" signify?
Here is a picture similar to what Tolstoy is describing. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 7, Chapter 13
Do you think the Count and Countess are more upset that Sonya is penniless or a relative? Defend your answer with examples form the text.
Everything is going badly in the Rostov house. Nicholas has left with his parents angry at him, Sonya is saddened that the Count and Countess do not wish for her to marry their son, the family's financial troubles mean that they have to sell some of their property, and Natasha misses Andrew. This is a great deal of misfortune to befall the central family of the novel.
Part 8, Chapter 1
Tolstoy now changes the focus of the narration back to which character?
Pierre's distractions include
Things are also going badly for our protagonist Pierre. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 8, Chapter 2
Prince Bolkonsky and Mary have left the countryside and moved to Moscow. The Prince is also beginning to show signs of senility.
Mary is in charge of the schooling of her nephew. To her dismay she finds
Part 8, Chapter 3
Yet again Tolstoy uses a violent metaphor to describe Prince Bolkonsky. Here his temper is "a cocked and loaded gun and awaited the inevitable explosion."
Part 8, Chapter 4
Of all the characters in the novel, Mary's life might be the saddest. How does the opening paragraph of this chapter reflect this?
Mary is finally opening up about her misery. Do you think this will mark a turning point for her character?
Even though Tolstoy is not telling readers Mary's opinion of Natasha, Pierre surmises that
Part 8, Chapter 5
All of the novel's main characters are in some kind of crisis, and here Tolstoy uses humor to lighten the mood. Boris wants to marry Julie for her money, and is pretending to be depressed and melancholy to win her over.
Boris dislikes Julie immensely until _______________________________ and he decides to propose.
Part 8, Chapter 6
The Rostov family is now in Moscow, and Natasha is going to go meet Andrew's family before he returns.
Part 8, Chapter 7
What mood is Tolstoy setting for this meeting? List three words that influence the mood of this selection.
Just when it seems like this meeting could not go any worse or be any more awkward for Natasha, the Prince enters the room in his pajamas!
Which of the following sentences best describe Mary and Natasha's feelings for each other?
Part 8, Chapter 8
The Opera was the height of society during this time. Below is a picture of an Opera House in Moscow. (This annotation contains an image)
Who does the crowd at the Opera consider is making one of the best matches in Russia?
Here is a picture of the beautiful and beguiling Helene at the Opera (in a film adaptation). Note how Pierre's estranged wife seems to be a character foil to the naive Natasha. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 8, Chapter 9
Natasha's thoughts on the Opera are completely different from the rest of the audience's. What do Natasha's musings say about her character? Yes, we know she is innocent, but do you think that she is able to see things more truly than others?
Not only are the differences between Helene and Natasha vast, but the most notable difference might be in how they make Pierre feel.
"How is it you're not ashamed to bury such pearls in the country?" is __________________ to describe Natasha's beauty.
Part 8, Chapter 10
Let's review what we know about Anatole a little bit. When the novel opened, his father is bemoaning how badly he is turning out. Next, Andrew makes Pierre promise that he will no longer hang out with him. Lastly, when we are introduced to Anatole, he is dangling out of a third-story window chugging a bottle of rum on a bet. Do we trust him with the impressionable Natasha? (This annotation contains an image)
Natasha feels _______________ by Anatole.
Part 8, Chapter 11
Anatole is secretly married!
Part 8, Chapter 12
How does Natasha feel about Helene?
Part 8, Chapter 13
Anatole is trying hard to seduce Natasha, and she is not fighting him very much on it. We are seeing more of her old "loves to fall in love" personality shining through.
What is Natasha's internal conflict? What advice would you give to her if you could?
Part 8, Chapter 14
The drama of Andrew's family disapproving of Natasha is probably moving things in Anatole's favor, as well.
It is important to keep 19th century values in mind here. If Natasha runs away with Anatole, she will be considered a ruined woman. She will never be able to get married or live in polite society again.
Part 8, Chapter 15
Which of the following roles is assigned to Sonya in this scene?
Natasha has written to Mary that she no longer loves Andrew and wishes to break off their engagement! Do you think she is thinking clearly?
Sonya has figured out that Natasha
Part 8, Chapter 16
Anatole admits to his friend that he doesn't care if he ruins Natasha. Did you see that coming? While Natasha and Pierre are the main protagonists in the novel, Anatole is emerging as a clear antagonist. Watch the video below to learn more about the role an antagonist plays in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Are you surprised that Dolokov is in on this whole plan? Why or why not?
Part 8, Chapter 17
A sable cap is a traditional Russian fur hat, as seen below. (This annotation contains an image)
When Anatole arrives to elope with Natasha, he realizes
Part 8, Chapter 18
We have seen a few times in the novel that Natasha's outward beauty is heavily influenced by her moods and inner enthusiasm. How does she appear in this description?
Natasha could best be described as
Part 8, Chapter 19
Pierre runs into Anatole on the street. Describe Anatole's countenance. How does it contradict Natasha's?
Count Rostov is clueless about what has been going on with his daughter, although he knows that she has broken off her engagement with Andrew.
What does Pierre tell Natasha?
Part 8, Chapter 20
Pierre confronts his brother-in-law. This is the first time we have seen Pierre act passionately about something besides when he challenged Dolokhov to the duel.
What revolts Pierre about Anatole during their argument?
Part 8, Chapter 21
Pierre is surprised to see that Andrew seems fine and his family seem happy about Natasha calling off the engagement.
How is Andrew really taking the breakup? What are his thoughts on Natasha now?
Part 8, Chapter 22
Watch the video below then answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Does the movie accurately convey the emotions in the novel? Were you surprised to find that Pierre has romantic feelings toward Natasha?
War and Peace Quiz Two
Part 9, Chapter 1
This chapter backs away from our characters and Tolstoy explains some of his philosophy regarding war.
Who does Tolstoy think has the "real power" in warfare?
"A king is history's slave" is a very powerful statement to make. What does Tolstoy mean by this?
Part 9, Chapter 2
This chapter highlights the ____________ side of the novel.
Part 9, Chapter 3
Vilna, as seen today, is now the capitol of Lithuania, but in 1812 it was under Russian control. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Tolstoy uses his own fictional characters to tell the story of true events? Is this an effective way to tell a story? Why or why not?
Part 9, Chapter 4
Does it seem odd to you now that all of these important communications between sovereigns take place by letter?
Which of the following literary devices is Tolstoy using in this paragraph?
Part 9, Chapter 5
Do you know anyone who loves being gloomy like Marshal Davout?
Using textual evidence, what can we infer from this paragraph?
Part 9, Chapter 6
Napoleon claims he wants to avoid war. Do you believe him?
How does Tolstoy characterize Napoleon here?
"Your army is grumbling" is an example of
A snuffbox was used to keep tobacco. Here is a picture of an antique snuffbox. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 9, Chapter 7
How would you describe Napoleon's character based on Tolstoy's depiction of him? Use examples from the text in your answer.
Part 9, Chapter 8
Tolstoy changes the setting back to look in on our main characters. Andrew is trying to find Anatole.
Andrew stops at Bald Hills and is surprised to find
This is the first time in his life Andrew is expressing his disapproval to his father!
"Don't imagine that sorrow is the work of men."What does Mary mean by this statement?
Part 9, Chapter 9
Are you surprised that Andrew is with the army already? He is not a presence in his son's life at all.
Given the information you know, which of these political groups that Tolstoy is describing would you belong to? Why?
The ruble remains the dominant currency of Eastern Europe. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 9, Chapter 10
"... in his ill-made uniform of a Russian general, which fitted him badly like a fancy costume" is an example of
Part 9, Chapter 11
Usually when we see Alexander, it is through the eyes of the adoring Nicholas. In Andrew's eyes, however, the Emperor appears to be exhausted. (This annotation contains an image)
The air of this council meeting could best be described as
Would you have opted for the cushy and safe lifestyle of court, or to go back to the front lines as a soldier, as Andrew chose?
Part 9, Chapter 12
How does the attitude of the soldiers differ from the attitude at headquarters? What do you think is the cause for this difference?
Lighting is often symbolic in literature. Watch the video below to learn more about symbolism. What do you think the lightning is a symbol for here? (This annotation contains a video)
Part 9, Chapter 13
The soldiers are being very ____________ in this scene.
Part 9, Chapter 14
In the course of one night, Nicholas has gone from drinking and flirting in a tavern to preparing to ride into battle.
Phrases such as ____________________ let us know that Nicholas is having a transcendent experience watching the battle.
Part 9, Chapter 15
Nicholas has just had a profound moment on the battlefield: as he was readying to kill a French soldier, he looked into his face and saw the soldier for a person, "ordinary, homelike."
Part 9, Chapter 16
How is the fact that doctors are being called to take care of Natasha's "illness" an example of irony?
What is actually healing Natasha are not the doctors or medicine, but the fact that people are paying attention to her. She knows that she is not really ill, but that she is suffering from a broken heart.
Part 9, Chapter 17
Which medical diagnosis would Natasha receive today?
Communion, as seen below, is a sacred ritual in the Russian Orthodox Church. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 9, Chapter 18
What horrifies Natasha?
Natasha, as innocent and naive as she is, still recognizes the hypocrisy of the Priest asking everyone to pray for the defeat of the French.
Part 9, Chapter 19
Pierre has realized that he
Pierre has gotten very into numerology. Watch the short video below to learn more about numerology. What are your thoughts about it? (This annotation contains a video)
Part 9, Chapter 20
What do you think of Pierre's feelings for Natasha? Do you think she could feel the same way for him?
Petya's enthusiasm to join the army is reminiscent of his older brother Nicholas' naive desire to fight.
Do you think Natasha knows Pierre's secret here?
Part 9, Chapter 21
"Poor dear, he's as white as a sheet!" is an example of
What do you think of Petya joining the army at fifteen? (This annotation contains an image)
Part 9, Chapter 22
We have seen Pierre's character change in many ways, but not in others. What happens in the highlighted passage? Is this more like the Pierre the novel opened with, or the one who let Dolokhov have it?
Part 9, Chapter 23
Nicholas isn't alone in his worship of the Emperor. Here we see a crowd of grown noblemen enraptured by his presence.
Part 10, Chapter 1
What is the structure of this chapter?
The French were defeated because they were ill-prepared for the famous Russian winter. Tolstoy is telling readers that this was not an intended strategy. (This annotation contains an image)
What pivotal thing are Russians doing when they retreat from their villages?
Part 10, Chapter 2
Mary gets a letter from Julie that is in Russian. The Russian nobility are no longer speaking French.
What do you think is happening to Prince Bolkonsky? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
Part 10, Chapter 3
It appears that Prince Bolkonsky is going senile! (This annotation contains an image)
What important information does Andrew convey in his letter?
Part 10, Chapter 4
The town is clearing out and peasants are offering to carry goods out for people for money. (This annotation contains an image)
Tolstoy is building a(n) ___________________ mood.
Can you imagine spending your day waiting for an army to slowly advance upon your city?
Everyone is clearing out, taking what they can and burning what they can't so there won't be anything left for the French soldiers. Have you ever seen or read a scene such as this one? What was it and how was it similar?
Remember that letter writing was the only form of communication in this era, and it was much more unreliable than it is today.
Part 10, Chapter 5
Andrew now has issues with
This realization is new to Andrew and remarkably not self-centered like he usually is.
Part 10, Chapter 6
Rumyantsev "regarding Helene as a remarkably intelligent woman" is an example of
Prince Vasili is unsure of expressing his opinions until he knows that others will agree with him. Do you know anyone like this?
Part 10, Chapter 7
What is Tolstoy explaining here? Which of the novel's themes does this reflect?
Part 10, Chapter 8
Most of this novel is structured linearly in time, except this chapter takes us back a bit. We have already seen Andrew visit the estate and verify that everyone had fled in Chapter Five. This is the story of what happened before Mary left the estate. Watch the video below to learn more about how novels are structured. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to jump back in time here? (This annotation contains a video)
What does Mary consider to be "like temptations of the devil"?
On his deathbed, Prince Bolkonsky is trying to apologize to Mary for having been so cruel to her all of these years.
Mary's first reaction to her father's death is one of
Part 10, Chapter 9
Mary is traveling to their estate Bogucharovo, which the family is out of touch with. The serfs on this estate are more independent and are sympathetic to the French!
What is Dron refusing to do? How is this out of line with how serfs were expected to behave?
Part 10, Chapter 10
Mary is forgiving Mademoiselle Bourienne after all that happened with her father. Mary truly has a forgiving heart. Do you remember earlier in the novel when Mary forgave Mademoiselle Bourienne after catching her with Anatole?
We get more of a glimpse of what is happening on the estate when Dron tells Mary that
Part 10, Chapter 11
Here is another example of dramatic irony. Mary thinks that the serfs are worried Mary will leave them "to the mercy of the French," but in reality they are excited for the arrival of the French.
Why won't the serfs go with Mary?
Part 10, Chapter 13
Tolstoy considered Charles Dickens to be his favorite writer. One of the hallmarks of Dickens' work was that all of his characters were united by coincidences in his novels. In this chapter, Mary is going to meet Nicholas, who will vow to help her, by way of a Dickensian coincidence. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Alpatych tell Nicholas?
Mary is so flustered by everything that has happened she does not comprehend that Nicholas is Natasha's brother. She can tell that he is a Russian aristocrat, which gives her a great sense of relief. Nicholas immediately has romantic notions of helping a damsel in distress.
Part 10, Chapter 14
"And as if afraid" is an example of
Nicholas was able to be Mary's hero after all! He has mobilized the serfs to help Mary escape.
Which of the novel's themes is highlighted in this paragraph?
Part 10, Chapter 15
Both Andrew and Denisov think nostalgically back on their relationships with Natasha.
This scene is set apart from most of the war councils by the emotional mood Tolstoy has set. How has he done this and why do you think he chose to?
Part 10, Chapter 16
Remember that Kutuzov is one of Tolstoy's real characters. He served as Field Marshall for the Russian Empire. (This annotation contains an image)
"I know your path is the path of honor!" is an example of
Part 10, Chapter 17
Even though the French army is approaching Moscow, the people of the city are acting frivolous and oblivious.
What is a topic of conversation amongst the partygoers?
Part 10, Chapter 18
We are approaching the climax of this story. Given what a long novel it is, we still have a ways to go, but this is all part of the rising action that is bringing the climax closer.
How is Pierre's decision making about joining the army indicative of the theme of fate vs. free will?
Part 10, Chapter 19
The focus of this chapter is on the battle of Borodino. Watch the short video below to help give you some context for this chapter and it's implications on the novel. (This annotation contains a video)
Tolstoy writes that common knowledge is
Below is a diagram of the battlefield with the positions of the armies. Note the river. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 10, Chapter 20
The description of the cart full of wounded soldiers helps to classify the style of this work as
What do you think of Pierre's decision to watch or participate in the battle all of a sudden?
Part 10, Chapter 21
Which of the novel's motifs is evident here? Do you think this motif foreshadows anything? Why or why not?
Do you think that people would just be allowed to wander onto a battlefield today the way Pierre is?
Tolstoy is characterizing Kutuzov as _______________ in the highlighted sentences.
Part 10, Chapter 22
Does this sound like any characterization we've seen of Pierre before? Recently he was too portly to climb the Rostov's staircase, but now Dolokhov is saying that he "wriggles in anywhere."
What is Dolokhov asking Pierre to forgive him for?
Part 10, Chapter 23
Bennigsen is another real character. He was a German general serving for the Russian Empire. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 10, Chapter 24
Are these depressive thoughts new to Andrew? When, if ever, have we seen him have similar thoughts before?
Part 10, Chapter 25
Andrew here is echoing Tolstoy's own belief that the outcome of wars have nothing to do with the greatness of generals.
This quote reflects the motif of
Andrew closed himself off to thoughts of Natasha after she broke off their engagement, but he has been thinking of her lately. Is it time healing his wounds or the prospect of battle?
Part 10, Chapter 26
Tolstoy is switching the setting to give us a peek inside the enemy camp.
This refers to the Bourbon dynasty, which ruled France from the 16th to 18th centuries. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Napoleon order the portrait of his son to be removed?
Part 10, Chapter 27
The highlighted paragraph is evidence of the _____________________ genre.
Part 10, Chapter 28
Tolstoy is denouncing the view of historians who say that France lost the battle because Napoleon had a cold.
What is Tolstoy saying about legendary generals and their greatness here?
Part 10, Chapter 29
Here we see again the theme of fate in a metaphor relating it to a courtesan, which was an upper class prostitute. (This annotation contains an image)
How is the beginning of the battle similar to the buildup to the battle? Why does Napoleon call it a game?
Part 10, Chapter 30
Pierre's thoughts here are reminiscent of Nicholas' feelings of awe during his first battle.
The highlighted sentence contains
Part 10, Chapter 31
Pierre is just as awkward on the battlefield as he is anywhere else. (This annotation contains an image)
Pierre feels _______________ to be in the middle of the battle.
Below is a movie clip of the battle scene. The figure in the beginning is Pierre wandering around. (This annotation contains a video)
The movie clip offers a much more zoomed out view of what is going on, while Pierre's perspective shows us a more zoomed in one. How do both perspectives, the movie with the novel, blend together to give us a clearer view?
Note the rich imagery of Tolstoy's writing here. Does it help you get a picture of Pierre in the battle?
Part 10, Chapter 32
The highlighted paragraphs reflect which of the novel's themes?
Part 10, Chapter 33
Napoleon is watching the battle from a far-away vantage point and cannot tell what is happening.
According to Tolstoy, what is the greatest influence on soldiers in battle?
Part 10, Chapter 34
Tolstoy is using a metaphor here to highlight the fact that Napoleon is actually hindering the success of his army.
Tolstoy does not directly say that Napoleon knows he is defeated, but his writing implies it. Which phrases from the text convey this to the reader?
Part 10, Chapter 35
Tolstoy painted a picture of Napoleon being out of touch with what was going on in the battle. We now see the same thing with Kutuzov. He is actually dozing off!
Kutuzov's words being passed through the army camp have a(n) _____________ effect.
Part 10, Chapter 36
Andrew is pale and gloomy. Compare this to Pierre, who was watching the battle with a look of happiness. Do you think this is because Andrew knows the brutality of war firsthand, while Pierre does not?
"It flew a hair's breadth past my ear" is an example of
Part 10, Chapter 37
This passage is disturbing to read. Tolstoy wanted to be as realistic as possible in his writing, and since he was a war journalist it seems like he has first-hand experience with this. Readers also need to keep in mind that these were the days before anesthesia and antibiotics.
We see the idea of forgiveness again. What prompts Andrew to forgive Anatole?
Part 10, Chapter 38
Even in Napoleon's self-pity, we can see that Tolstoy does not respect the man.
Part 10, Chapter 39
Just as earlier lightening was symbolic of the coming of battle, the rain here is symbolic of
Part 11, Chapter 1
Here we have another chapter that places the plot of the story on hold while Tolstoy segues to his philosophical beliefs.
Tolstoy posits that _____________________ is stronger than the influence of great leaders in creating movements.
Part 11, Chapter 2
Even though Russia won the battle, the Russian army found itself so battered that it had to retreat and leave Moscow to the French. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 11, Chapter 3
What is the main topic of this unofficial war council?
It is interesting to note the various points of view Tolstoy is using in this chapter, all while giving readers access to Kutuzov's thoughts.
Part 11, Chapter 4
What do you think Tolstoy's intention was in including the little girl in this chapter?
Part 11, Chapter 5
Russians burning the city of Moscow down as they fled saved the Empire. Tolstoy thinks that this was not an intentional decision. Yet again, we see the idea that so much of winning wars is left up to chance.
Part 11, Chapter 6
Knowing Helene, we can assume that she is
Part 11, Chapter 7
Helene is working hard at obtaining a divorce from Pierre, which was absolutely scandalous for this era.
What decision is Helene trying to make?
Part 11, Chapter 8
Now Pierre is on the sidelines away from the battlefield. Have you noticed how, whatever position Pierre is in, he is an outsider watching those around him? This was even the case at his father's deathbed.
Part 11, Chapter 9
Tolstoy is now going to give us a peek inside Pierre's dreams. Authors often use dream sequences such as this one to give readers a glimpse inside the unconscious minds of their characters.
What do you think Pierre's dreams meant? How would you interpret them?
Pierre has been told that Anatole and Andrew and dead. We've already seen everyone think that Andrew was dead once before. The last time we saw both of them they were in the hospital together in very bad shape, though.
Part 11, Chapter 10
Pierre is apparently _____________________ about Helene.
Part 11, Chapter 11
Pierre has learned that many of his friends in the Freemasons have been banished for being suspected of disloyalty to Russia.
Part 11, Chapter 12
Why are the Rostovs still in Moscow on the eve of the invasion?
The cause for the Countess' happiness is the same as for Sonya's sadness: Nicholas' potential marriage to Mary, which would solve the family's financial woes.
Part 11, Chapter 13
How is the highlighted paragraph in exemplary of Natasha's character?
There is nowhere to bring wounded Russian soldiers so Natasha, with her big heart, has opened up the Rostov house to them.
Which of the novel's themes does the highlighted sentence reflect?
Part 11, Chapter 14
We have seen large swings in Natasha'a character in the past few chapters. She has gone from not wanting to help pack the house to giving quarter to wounded soldiers and furiously repacking. Watch the below video on static and dynamic characters. Which of the terms best describes Natasha? (This annotation contains a video)
Andrew being one of the wounded given refuge in Natasha's house is an example of
Part 11, Chapter 15
The wounded soldiers are asking to be loaded onto the Rostov's carts. Who knows what fate awaits them if they are helpless while the French invade the city.
Countess Rostova values the family's monetary possessions more than the lives of the soldiers. Have we seen a similar side of her before? When?
Part 11, Chapter 16
Can you believe Berg? At a time like this he is asking his father-in-law for a loan to buy a piece of furniture off of someone!
Countess Rostova changes her mind and lets the soldiers take the space in the carts because
Natasha has no way of knowing it now, but her act of bravery in standing up to her mother will have very meaningful consequences.
Part 11, Chapter 17
Sonya discovers that _________________ is among the injured who has been loaded onto the carts.
While leaving the city they spot Pierre, dressed like a peasant, entering the city which everyone else is abandoning.
Natasha's statement highlights her
Part 11, Chapter 18
The Kremlin remains one of Moscow's most important government buildings. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you predict Pierre wants with these things? What do you think his plans are?
Part 11, Chapter 19
Napoleon has grand visions for Moscow. He does not yet realize that there is no one left to conquer.
Part 11, Chapter 20
Tolstoy is using ___________________ to describe the deserted city.
'Coup de theatre' is a French phrase for a dramatic turn of events. Napoleon is upset that he is not going to be taking over Moscow in grand style.
Part 11, Chapter 21
Use the Define feature to look up the word vituperation. What is an antonym for vituperation?
Part 11, Chapter 22
Vespertime is in the evening. Below is a painting of a Moscow evening. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 11, Chapter 23
What clues have you found to let you know that the fall of Moscow marks the beginning of the novel's climax?
The people who are left in Moscow are likely lacking either common sense or the means to make their way. Think about how Tolstoy is using the city's inhabitants to reflect the state of the city.
The mood in the city could best be described as
Part 11, Chapter 24
What is left of Moscow's government is crumbling.
Rostopchin orders the inmates of the prison and the asylum
Part 11, Chapter 25
This young man, Vereshchagin, is obviously not the cause of the fall of Moscow. Rostopchin just knows that the rowdy crowd is looking for someone to blame.
What is Tolstoy's message about mob mentality and fear in this chapter?
Rostopchin is trying to justify what he has done. Do you think that he believes himself?
What was Rostopchin's motivation for ordering the killing of Vereshchagin?
Part 11, Chapter 26
The French still have not realized that no one is left to fight them.
What happened to the French soldiers during their five weeks in Moscow?
Below is an image of Moscow after French invasion from the movie War and Peace. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 11, Chapter 27
What has Pierre decided that he has been predestined to do? What do you think of this direction that Pierre's story is taking?
Part 11, Chapter 28
The soldiers are looking for lodging.
Part 11, Chapter 29
What do Pierre and this French soldier most likely have in common?
The good-natured Pierre cannot help but feel warmly towards this soldier.
Pierre feels tormented that the French soldier
Pierre cannot help but tell the soldier about his love for Natasha.
"There was nothing terrible in the one small, distant fire in the immense city" is an example of
Part 11, Chapter 30
Could you imagine watching your city burn from a distance?
Part 11, Chapter 31
Why do you think Natasha is acting so strangely?
Where do you think Natasha is off to sneaking out alone at night?
Part 11, Chapter 32
In what way is Andrew surprising his doctor?
Andrew thinks back to the moment of happiness and forgiveness he experienced when he realized it was Anatole next to him in the hospital. He wants that feeling back.
In one of his moments of lucidity, Pierre realizes that
Natasha will not leave Andrew's side and the intimacy between them is renewed. Tolstoy says that both Andrew and Russia are close to death. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 11, Chapter 33
Pierre attracts much attention in burning Moscow because no one knows what to make of him. Is this typical of Pierre's character? Why or why not?
This soldier's dialogue with Pierre highlights how the lack of purpose in Moscow has turned the soldiers into a lawless bunch.
Part 11, Chapter 34
Tolstoy uses ___________________ to compare the French soldiers to wolves.
War and Peace Quiz Three
Part 12, Chapter 1
Life in Petersburg is continuing on just the same as it ever has for the aristocracy. This lifestyle is in stark contrast to what is happening in Moscow. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Tolstoy insinuate in the highlighted paragraph?
Part 12, Chapter 2
The characters in Petersburg are behind the rest of our characters in terms of information. Remember, the only way news is spread in this era is slowly by mail or messenger.
Helene has died! Pierre is now a free man. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 12, Chapter 3
How long after the invasion of Moscow did Petersburg find out about it?
Part 12, Chapter 4
As mentioned earlier, Tolstoy wanted to write a story that was truer than the history books. Here he talks about how during this time the Russians were remembered as being heroic and self-sacrificing, but in reality they were still concerned with their own personal interests.
How is Nicholas viewing his military errand? What would you make of it if you were in Nicholas' position?
Here is an example of the hussar uniform. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 12, Chapter 5
Nicholas' tone here is most likely
We see the idea of fate again here. Nicholas thinks the timing of his meeting with Mary was fated. He would not have been able to pursue her if they had met when Natasha and Andrew were engaged.
What is the cause of Nicholas' internal conflict here?
Part 12, Chapter 6
This is similar to the earlier scene in which Pierre is noticing that Natasha doesn't look very pretty, then Andrew begins talking to her and she suddenly becomes beautiful. It seems that Tolstoy was a big believer in the concept of inner beauty.
Do you think Tolstoy is commenting here on Nicholas and Mary or on marriage in general? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
Part 12, Chapter 7
Nicholas is drawn to Mary. Sonya is a known entity to him, but Mary is a mystery. He doesn't need to understand her to love her. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Sonya say she is breaking off their engagement?
Part 12, Chapter 8
Now we get to see how Sonya really feels. She feels as though she has sacrificed so much being raised in the Rostov house, but she thinks it is too much to sacrifice her love with Nicholas. She is jealous that Natasha doesn't seem to have to make any sacrifices.
What is Sonya's real reason for writing to Nicholas to break off their engagement?
Part 12, Chapter 9
Why do you think Pierre won't tell them his identity?
Part 12, Chapter 10
Pierre has been held as a prisoner and now, traveling to his sentencing, he is getting his first look at the destroyed Moscow.
What is the meaning of the look that Pierre and Davout share? Do you think it will be enough to save Pierre?
Part 12, Chapter 11
The prisoners are facing a firing squad. Pierre is the sixth in line.
Pierre notices that both the French soldiers and Russian prisoners share the same look of horror and dismay. This highlights the theme of
They only executed the first five men. Pierre has been spared!
Part 12, Chapter 12
Pierre is moved by the peasant man's kindness. Tolstoy is using the idea of ____________ to lighten the mood after the execution scene we have just read.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato could have been the inspiration for Platon's name. Platon represents the simple wisdom of the peasant class. (This annotation contains an image)
How has meeting Platon given Pierre's soul new life?
Part 12, Chapter 13
To Pierre, Platon is "an unfathomable, rounded, eternal personification of the spirit of simplicity and truth." (This annotation contains an image)
Part 12, Chapter 14
Mary is flustered because
In the last several chapters, we have seen many moments such as this one, when two souls recognize humanity and kinship in the other.
Part 12, Chapter 15
What has changed in Andrew?
Andrew is disconnecting with his own life at this point. He has to stop and think about why his sister might be crying.
Part 12, Chapter 16
How does Andrew feel about the prospect of dying?
Watch the video below of Andrew's death and his recounting of this dream. (This annotation contains a video)
Which do you think paints a truer picture of death: the novel or the movie clip? Why?
Part 13, Chapter 1
Here is another chapter in which Tolstoy details the movements of the war and shares his philosophy. Why do you think he inserts these chapters where he does?
Part 13, Chapter 2
"Having rolled like a ball in the direction of the impetus given by the whole campaign" is an example of
Part 13, Chapter 3
In the telling of this, Tolstoy again highlights the theme of power not being at the center: Kutuzov, the Russian commander, is powerless to stop his own army from starting a battle.
Part 13, Chapter 5
What is becoming clear to Kutuzov?
Part 13, Chapter 6
This is another example of the peaceful stillness before a battle that Tolstoy has written about before. The calm before the storm, so to speak.
Here we again see the motif of death. How does this reflect what Tolstoy seems to be saying about the futility of death during war?
Part 13, Chapter 7
The battle of Tarutino, seen in the painting below, was important in that it marked a great shift towards Russia winning the war. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 13, Chapter 8
We can infer that Tolstoy's tone is ______________ when he calls Napoleon "that greatest of all geniuses."
Part 13, Chapter 9
Below is a painting of Napoleon in the Kremlin. This chapter details what he does to try to make Moscow inhabitable again under French rule. (This annotation contains an image)
Napoleon's efforts in Moscow included all of the following EXCEPT
Part 13, Chapter 10
Napoleon's efforts are all failing. He cannot control his soldiers and Moscow becomes a dangerous and lawless place. Below is a painting of Napoleon watching Moscow burn. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Tolstoy saying about Napoleon in this simile?
Part 13, Chapter 11
An "old wives' summer" is a period in the late autumn marked by pleasant weather before the famously harsh Russian winter sets in. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Tolstoy indirectly tell readers about Platon in this anecdote?
Part 13, Chapter 12
Being a prisoner has made Pierre realize that all one needs to be happy in life are the simple things.
Part 13, Chapter 13
Now that the French soldiers are preparing to move the prisoners, they have ceased to see them as people. This brings up the theme of ___________________ again.
Be prepared for some grisly scenes as the prisoners are being marched through Moscow.
Part 13, Chapter 14
What happens to Pierre's soul when he passes by the caravan of young Russian women prisoners?
Is Pierre having a mental breakdown or is he doing what he has to do to stay sane amidst all the horror?
Part 13, Chapter 15
"The man who does not understand the construction of the machine cannot conceive that the small connecting cogwheel which revolves quietly is one of the most essential parts of the machine..."What is Tolstoy comparing a machine to in this metaphor?
Part 13, Chapter 16
Napoleon has abandoned Moscow with what is left of the French army.
Part 13, Chapter 17
Kutuzov suffers from
Part 13, Chapter 18
Tolstoy says that from earlier on, Napoleon's downfall was inevitable.
Part 13, Chapter 19
What is Tolstoy saying here about a man in motion? Have you ever felt this way in your life?
Part 14, Chapter 1
Tolstoy points out how odd it is that a whole nation is supposed to submit to the rule of another because of battles it has lost.
What does Tolstoy posit is remarkable about this war?
Part 14, Chapter 2
Guerrilla warfare, as described here, was how America won the American Revolution and why the US lost the Vietnam War.
Part 14, Chapter 3
"... who killed them off as instinctively as dogs worry a stray mad dog to death" is an example of
Denisov and Dolokhov have become guerrilla fighters.
Part 14, Chapter 5
Petya is thrilled to be tagging along with the guerrilla fighters. This is reminiscent of his older brother Nicholas' excitement for battle early in the novel.
Petya is most likely _______________ here.
Part 14, Chapter 6
From this description, Tikhon sounds like masculinity personified.
What is the most likely reason why Tikhon does not bring back the French soldier?
Part 14, Chapter 7
Petya is still a sweet boy. He is giving out everything he has to the guerrillas, who have been living a very hard life in the woods.
Which other Rostov family member does Petya remind you the most of in the highlighted passage? Give examples from the text in your answer.
Part 14, Chapter 8
Dolokhov is upset that Denisov has been letting their prisoners go.
Part 14, Chapter 9
Dolokhov could be described as
Part 14, Chapter 10
Petya is so innocent and excited. He is still a teenager, after all, and does not grasp the gravity of the situation.
"And the sky was a fairy realm" is an example of
Part 14, Chapter 11
Do you think Petya will obey Denisov?
Petya has been killed. Were there any clues that this was to be his fate? If so, what were they? If not, why did you think he was going to make it?
Pierre is freed in the raid!
Part 14, Chapter 12
What does the odor that emanates from Platon most likely symbolize?
Part 14, Chapter 13
Tolstoy is using the weather as an extension of Pierre's misery.
Which of the following is a motif from the novel that is present in Platon's story?
Part 14, Chapter 14
Without telling us explicitly, we know that the soldiers have shot Platon because he was too sick to go on. By comparing their faces to that of the soldiers in the execution scene, Tolstoy lets the reader know this was not something they wanted to do. Yet again, we see the motif of death and the theme of the brutality of war.
Part 14, Chapter 15
With the beginning of the raid, we are now brought up to the present time. Why do you think Tolstoy decided to structure the text this way?
Part 14, Chapter 16
The French are bleeding soldiers. The Russian winter is setting in and men are now just going off on their own, trying to walk the long journey back home to France. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 14, Chapter 17
What does Tolstoy compare the movements of the two armies to?
Part 14, Chapter 18
Napoleon, seen below, deserted his troops to make his way home in defeat. After Napoleon's desertion, what was left of the French forces truly fell apart. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 14, Chapter 19
Why did the Russian forces not completely exterminate the French when they had the opportunity?
Even though Russia was winning, her army was suffering, too. Cold and hunger killed half of the men in a single month.
Part 15, Chapter 1
How have Mary and Natasha been handling Andrew's death?
Natasha really seems to be slipping away. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 15, Chapter 2
What effect does Petya's death have on Natasha?
We again see an unexpected heroism in Natasha. While Tolstoy doesn't claim that there are heroes on the battlefield, where savagery is interlaced with failed humanity and everything is left up to either coincidence or fate, he shows readers that women are the heroes of domestic life.
Part 15, Chapter 3
What saves Natasha?
Natasha and Mary are growing into good friends through their shared grief.
Part 15, Chapter 4
Do you think that Tolstoy agrees with Kutuzov, who just wants the French to retreat, or the other generals who still want to attack? What are your reasons for your answer?
Part 15, Chapter 5
Tolstoy says that Kutuzov was a great man because his aim was
Tolstoy again posits that historians have it all wrong. History remembers Napoleon as a great man and Kutuzov, seen below, as blundering. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 15, Chapter 6
Kutuzov calls on his men to take pity on their French prisoners, reminding them that they are all human beings.
Part 15, Chapter 7
What is the most likely reason for the merry mood?
Part 15, Chapter 8
The conditions for the soldiers are so brutal that one would expect lower morale, but Tolstoy says that all of the weak have been left behind. This sounds like survival of the fittest.
What do you think Tolstoy's intent is in writing this fireside conversation between characters we do not know?
Part 15, Chapter 9
The officers Pierre met in Moscow have stumbled out through the woods, freezing and starving. How do you think these Russian soldiers will treat them?
"The stars, as if knowing that no one was looking at them, began to disport themselves in the dark sky" is an example of
Part 15, Chapter 10
Kutuzov has been asked to step down. He is out of touch with the court and weary, so he obliges.
The Order of Saint George is the highest honor in the Russian military. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 15, Chapter 11
How is Kutuzov treated after being awarded the Order of Saint George?
Part 15, Chapter 12
Orel is a city outside Moscow. (This annotation contains an image)
What change is taking place inside of Pierre? What do you predict for his future?
Part 15, Chapter 13
Pierre's internal life has changed and his countenance is much improved. Suddenly people enjoy being around him. Have you ever known anyone who has made such a profound internal change? Did it make you want to be around him/her more?
It seems that Pierre has learned
Part 15, Chapter 14
Tolstoy uses an extended metaphor relating the rebuilding of Moscow to an ant farm. Watch the short time lapse video below to see ants build a colony to help you better understand. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 15, Chapter 15
Now that Pierre is back in Moscow he thinks of Natasha
Yet again we have another allusion to a remarkable coincidence of characters meeting up, in the style of Tolstoy's favorite writer Charles Dickens. (This annotation contains an image)
Pierre did not even recognize Natasha. When she smiled, he realized that he is still in love with her. How does this relate to the idea or inner beauty in the novel?
Part 15, Chapter 16
Natasha needs to tell the story of Andrew's last days. This appears to be a cathartic experience for her. Do you think she will be able to finally heal?
Part 15, Chapter 17
Natasha and Pierre are both conscious of how he will speak about Helene, who served as _________________ to Natasha.
Both Natasha and Pierre need to talk about difficult things that have happened since they last saw each other. For Natasha, it was Andrew's death, and for Pierre it was Platon's.
What simile does Natasha use to describe the change in Pierre?
Part 15, Chapter 18
The beauty that Pierre sees in the ruins of Moscow are symbolic of the struggles that both he and Natasha have emerged from. They were forever changed and fragile, but their souls are all the more beautiful from it.
Describe Pierre's feelings for Natasha as he explains them to Mary. What do you think Natasha's feelings for Pierre are?
"... that day as he looked at her Pierre sometimes felt as if he was vanishing and that neither he nor she existed any longer, that nothing existed but happiness." We have seen characters feel this extreme joy before, but usually it is in the face of hardships, such as when Pierre was being held prisoner and Andrew was dying.
Part 15, Chapter 19
Pierre has discovered that the meaning of life centers around
Part 15, Chapter 20
Natasha's soul, much like the city of Moscow itself, is being rebuilt. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 16, Chapter 1
This part of the plot is known as the
The central idea of the highlighted paragraph is that
Part 16, Chapter 3
Tolstoy disagrees with the concept that men make history; he thinks that history makes men.
What does Tolstoy think gave Napoleon his power? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
Part 16, Chapter 4
Just as Tolstoy thinks that historical forces made Napoleon, Napoleon wields no power over history or country.
Tolstoy thinks that the more we try to comprehend things
Part 16, Chapter 5
With Count Rostov dead, Nicholas has inherited too much debt for the estate to bear.
Part 16, Chapter 6
Nicholas' greeting of Mary could best be described as
Why do you think the visit between Nicholas and Mary went so poorly?
What does Tolstoy mean by "what had seemed impossible and remote suddenly became possible, inevitable, and very near"?
Part 16, Chapter 7
Nicholas becomes skilled at managing his estates, the same way Andrew was and the way his father and Pierre never were.
What has Nicholas realized?
Part 16, Chapter 8
The kind Mary is a good influence on Nicholas. He is learning how to control his temper.
We see that Sonya has continued to live a life of
Part 16, Chapter 9
It is interesting to see how all of these characters have come together through the years.
Even in happy endings, Tolstoy has to add a touch of realism. How are these concerns between Mary and Nicholas like that of a realistic couple?
Here we see Tolstoy's concept of beauty again. "It is not beauty that endears, it's love that makes us see beauty."
Part 16, Chapter 10
What cause has Natasha thrown herself into wholeheartedly?
Natasha is perfectly content in her life and with her husband. Pierre and Natasha have made an excellent match. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Pierre measure his worth?
Part 16, Chapter 11
It is unusual in this era for a member of the aristocracy to be as involved as Natasha is with rearing her children. Most aristocratic women had wet nurses, who would nurse their babies for them. Natasha has strong maternal instincts and does it herself.
Part 16, Chapter 12
What kind of relationship does Pierre have with the younger Nicholas, Andrew's son?
When we first met Natasha she would have been over the moon at receiving such a gift and dreamed of the balls she would wear it to. Now she only thinks about passing it along to her daughter.
Part 16, Chapter 13
What is most likely wrong with Countess Rostova?
Pierre remarks on how the sound of children laughing lets him know that all is well. Tolstoy is certainly painting a picture of domestic bliss!
Part 16, Chapter 14
The men go off in the study to discuss politics while the women retire to the nursery. This supports the theme of
Andrew would be happy to see the relationship his son has developed with Pierre.
Part 16, Chapter 15
How are these thoughts of Nicholas different than some of the other married couples we have seen in the novel? Which theme(s) is Tolstoy touching upon here?
Nicholas recognizes that his wife is the center of their family life.
Part 16, Chapter 16
Tolstoy jumping from character to character to give us a peek into each of their thoughts is a hallmark of ________________ narration.
After showing us many dysfunctional families throughout the novel, are you surprised that it is the members of the loving Rostov family who have found the most happiness in their domestic partnerships?
Young Nicholas dreams that
Part 17, Chapter 1
The final part of the story is Tolstoy's philosophical thoughts on war, history, and government.
The "ferment" that arose in Paris in 1789 refers to
This seems to be a slam from Tolstoy against historians.
Part 17, Chapter 2
What comparison does Tolstoy use to show how historians prove their theories?
Part 17, Chapter 3
This chapter is a long analogy outlining Tolstoy's complaints with historians.
Part 17, Chapter 4
According to Tolstoy, power is
History tells us that the rulers express the will of the people. Do you think Tolstoy agrees? Do you agree?
Part 17, Chapter 5
Tolstoy thinks that we ____________ understand the meaning of power.
Part 17, Chapter 6
Tolstoy was a devout Christian and Christian philosopher. Do you think the highlighted statement has any bearing on the theme of fate vs. free will in the novel?
How do all of the contingencies that make up an army come together to create the essence of power?
Part 17, Chapter 7
In comparing the movements of history to a ship, Tolstoy says that whatever way a ship turns, there will always be a wave ahead of it. Therefore, everything has its own trajectory.
Part 17, Chapter 8
Why does Tolstoy not believe in free will?
Even though Tolstoy does not believe in free will, he thinks that men cannot help but constantly strive for freedom anyway.
Who does Tolstoy take up issue with at the end of this chapter?
Part 17, Chapter 9
Every action that a man makes is related to another action that came before. Tolstoy thinks that this is the same with both men and history.
Who do you think Tolstoy blames for those who commit crimes against humanity?
Part 17, Chapter 10
Tolstoy thinks that there is no such thing as being completely free or everything being inevitable. He believes those two forces must coexist.
Tolstoy likens freedom to
Part 17, Chapter 11
Tolstoy thinks that a man's free will influencing historical events is the same as the laws of gravity no longer applying to the planets. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 17, Chapter 12
What do you think about Tolstoy's views? Do you agree or disagree with him? Why?
War and Peace Quiz Four