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After getting married to Natasha, Pierre moves over to his estate in Moscow. Count Rostov dies and Nikolai is made to shoulder the responsibility of running the house. Nikolai takes up a government job to make both ends meet and also shifts to a small establishment. Sonya gives him a lot of moral support but he is unable to reciprocate her love. Marya pays them a visit but Nikolai feels insulted. Later, when Marya reveals her love for Nikolai and requests him to make her happy, Nikolai consents. They marry and shift to Bald Hills. Nikolai inherits wealth from a distant relative and clears off all his debts. He takes to farming and introduces reforms in his estate.
Marya is happy leading the life of a wife and mother. She helps Nikolai take decisions and improve his attitude towards the peasants. Expecting her third child, she goes through pangs of anxiety but recovers from her moods. Natasha is contented playing the role of a devoted wife to Pierre and loving mother to her three children. Pierre forms his own circle of friends in Petersburg and plans to revolutionize the government machinery. He desires to clean the government of corruption and inefficiency by introducing reforms. Nikolai fails to share his views, but young Nikolushka is too happy to support Pierre. Nikolushka, now a boy of fifteen, is sensitive and precocious. He admires Pierre and hopes to become like the latter.
Tolstoy ends the novel on a philosophical note. He dwells at length on the futility of waging war. He tries to probe into the cause and consequences of war. He fails to agree with the historians who hold individuals responsible for events. He believes that many things go to create an event. Many people and circumstances induce a particular person to take action. The historians may name it as will or necessity. Whatever the reasons be for war, it is unjustifiable and unpardonable. Tolstoy considers war as evil.