War and Peace - Volume I Pt III Ch 6-10

Chapter 6 - Count Rostov receives a letter from his son, Nikolay. He tells his father of his wound and the two battles he's engaged in and his promotion to officer. Anna Mikhaylovna soon finds out about the letter and goes in to comfort the Count. Anna Mikhaylovna prepares Countess Rostov for the news, Natasha becomes curious about the glances and facial expressions between the three. Anna summarizes the letter to Natasha after the latter inquires into the matter, Natasha then tells Sonya. The letter is disclosed to the Countess by Anna Mikhaylova after dinner, it is then read to the household. Letters are composed to be sent to Nikolay within the week.

Chapter 7 - The Russian Emperor and his guards had advanced to Olmutz by November 12, 1805. The main body of forces were camped 10 miles east of Olmutz in preparation for inspection by the two Emperors - of Russia and Austria. Boris and Berg were among the guards the Tsar had led into the region to meet up with Kutuzov whose forces were camped near Olmutz. Nikolay Rostov caught up with his good friends Boris and Berg after receiving word that they had arrived with the Tsar. Boris handed Rostov letters and money from back home which had been tasked to him for Nikolay. Berg teased Rostov about the money while Boris reasoned with him about the usefulness of recommendations the letters contained. Conversation between the three officers ran from the exciting to the mundane. As Rostov detailed the Battle of Schongrabern, Prince Andrey Bolkonsky walked into the room, up to this point, only Berg had been known to Bolkonsky. Tensions flared between Rostov and Bolkonsky to the point where Andrey reproached Nikolay on the matter advising him to pick his battles carefully.

Chapter 8 - Details the emotional vigor Rostov felt at the sight of Tsar Alexander's youthful presence among his army. The strength and vitality expressed by the combined Russian and Austrian forces of 80,000 men accompanied by the Russian Emperor and his heir, the Tsarevich, and the Austrian by the archduke, united the allied army in preparation to face the enemy once more. Rostov folded into the masses of the army, losing all sense of self, given only to the devotion of his majesty, he became locked in the throes of veneration.

Alexander I (1777-1825), Emperor of Russia (1801-1825). Aged 29 in 1805, the Tsar was seven years younger than Napoleon when he took titular command of Russian troops just before the battle of Austerlitz.

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Chapter 9 - Boris rides into Olmutz to speak with Bolkonsky in the hopes that he could secure a position for himself as an adjutant. While at the headquarters of the two Emperors, Boris witnessed the unwritten rules and regulations of the Russian military first hand - the soldiers on the front followed the high command while those at the rear followed the social titles of the aristocracy. Boris sought to serve under Kutuzov but Bolkonsky directed him instead to adjutant general Prince Dolgorukov. The Prince had just come from a council of war when Bolkonsky walked in with Boris. After speaking of the current state of affairs and the next move the army would make, Bolkonsky introduced Boris immediately after which Dolgorukov was summond by the Emperor. Boris was captivated by the presence of great men to realize that the meeting for him did not fair well, little time was given to make his case. The chapter closes with the battle of Austerlitz on the horizon.

Chapter 10 - Prince Bagration's detachment had been called into action, Rostov was disappointed however, when his squadron was held back in reserve. His disappointment was soon relieved when the Tsar had road up to the front, many had believed that the French had been routed and forced to retreat at Wischau, but the engagement was only a pitched battle. Without realizing the main French army was further to the south encamped near Austerlitz, the Tsar and his men celebrated as if they had defeated Napoleon himself. Rostov quickly melded himself with the belief in the Tsar and Russian military honour so much so that he began to fantasize about death for the purpose of sacrifice to such idols and ideals.

Characters

Ilya Rostov - married to Countess Rostov, father of Natasha, Vera, Nikolay
Nikolay Rostov - Count Rostov's eldest son, a student who follows Boris into the army, cousin and taken to Sonya
Anna Mikhaylovna Drubetskoy - friend to Countess Rostov, mother of Boris
Natasha - daughter of Countess Rostov's 12, age 13, taken to Boris
Sonya - a niece of Countess Rostov, cousin to Nikolay , age 15, taken to Nikolay Rostov
Petya - son of Count Rostov, brother to Nikolay, age 9
Berg - an officer in the Semyonovsky regiment, joined with Boris, taken to Vera, now a captain
Boris Drubetskoy - son of Anna Mikhaylovna, recently entered a regiment as an officer, transferring to the guards, friend of Nikolay, now Lieutenant
Nikolay Rostov - Count Rostov's eldest son, a student who follows Boris into the army, cousin and taken to Sonya
Prince Andrey Bolkonsky - Married to Liza, friend to Pierre Bezukhov, enlisted in the army, son of Pince Nikolay Bolkonsky, adjutant to general Kutuzov, currently captain
Prince Dolgorukov - adjutant general, friend to Prince Andrey

Analysis (VI)

This section puts the central characters of war into perspective. We come to see that nationalism and the ancien regime permeate the Russian military.

While Rostov symbolizes the very human perspective of war, he quickly falls into the veneration and hero worship of the Tsar far more potently than we've seen in other characters such as Pierre for Napoleon. "He had, of course, fallen in love with the Tsar and Russian military honour and the hope of future glory." Rostov is caught up in a wave of fanatic glory that underlyingly casts a darker side onto the ancien regime in light of the divine right of kings. That he dreamed of simply dying before the Emperor's eyes for no reason than to die before his idol symbolizes the deep seated nature of the absolute monarchy.

Boris rises above Rostov in that he is aware of his own stature and his own place in the military. It is up to him and no one else to make a name for himself and he must use what he has at his disposal to make the best of his career. Unlike Rostov, he seeks to be elevated in the world of those who make decisions, "If you go in for a military career you might as well try and make it as brilliant a career as you can." Though Boris is untested in war, we can visualize him becoming a shrewd military man climbing through the ranks.

Bolkonsky's character is defined further after his initial experience in battle. We see him take the same position towards Boris as Bagration had taken of him two weeks before. His confrontation with Rostov was handled in the manner of advice from an older man to a younger one, maintaining calm in the face of tension. Though he holds his pride, his stature within this segment rises above most.

As I'm coming to think about the matter, you can talk about war before and after the fact as heroic, but when you're in the thick of it, there's nothing heroic or glorious about it. You can either accept it for what it is or run away from it. "What a terrible thing war is, what a terrible thing!" Tsar Alexander.

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