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MonkeyNotes-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
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The characters shown within the cozy confines of their homes in the last Part are out on the fields in this part, performing a different role. Sons and husbands shed their family responsibilities to defend their country. They display chivalry and enthusiasm while fighting with their enemy. In the process, the better side of their personality comes into focus.

In Part I, Prince Andrei is portrayed as an arrogant young man who ignores the sentiments of his wife and fails to fulfil his responsibility as a husband, as he leaves her forlorn in her delicate state of health. He is insensitive to her feelings and intolerant of her attitude. In this Part, he displays the better side of his personality. He is presented as a responsible officer of the Russian army, working under the astute Kutuzov. He encourages the soldiers who are good, but corrects those who are lacking. He is disciplined and dedicated. After joining the regiment under Prince Bagration, he surveys the field before taking up his position. He faces the enemy courageously and induces his compatriots to do their best. Being a true patriot, he is disappointed when the Austrian generals fail to appreciate their efforts on the field. He is provoked to fight against the enemy for entering Vienna and establishing their superiority. Thus, he joins the camp of the able General, Bagration and puts up a valiant fight against the enemy. He appreciates and commends the prowess of Tushin in handling his regiment. When Prince Bagration overlooks the performance and contribution of Tushin in the battle, he feels disappointed. Andrei is a brave soldier who believes in doing a good job and acknowledging the contribution of others on the field.


Nikolai Rostov who was presented as a dashing young man in love with the petite, Sonya in the last Part, is shown as a patriotic soldier sincere in his work and obedient to his officers. He is respectful towards Captain Denisov and offers to help him when the latter is short of money. However, he feels insulted when Denisov suspects him of stealing his money and decides to book the real culprit at the earliest. When he realizes that it is Lieutenant Telyanin who had stolen Denisovís money, he confronts the officer and accuses him of theft. In the process, he lands in trouble. The senior officer is guilty but feels insulted for being accused by a younger officer. He expects apology from Nikolai. Nikolai refuses to apologize and appease the ego of Telyanin. Nikolai is honest, fearless and forthright. On the battlefield, Nikolai performs his duty as a courageous soldier serving under the Pavlograd regiment. With patriotic fervor and youthful enthusiasm, he confronts the enemy to repulse their attack. In the process, he wounds his arm.

Dolokhov is another soldier who shows the better side of his character on the field. In the past, he had been degraded to the position of a private from an officer for committing impropriety. He feels insulted but decides to rectify his status. At Grunt, he keeps his promise. He faces boldly the French troops and fights with all his might. He kills a French soldier and captures another one. Thus, he tries to retrieve his position in the army.

Leo Tolstoy is as good describing scenes in the drawing rooms of the Russian elite as he is painting scenes of the battle. He brings alive the scene of action by detailed presentation of the facts and the attitude of the soldiers attacking each other. Thus, the strategy of the French, the deception of the Austrian army and the zeal of the Russian soldiers is portrayed in vivid colors to evoke the spirit of the war. Even the feelings of the soldiers, as they fight the battle is revealed convincingly. Tolstoy shows himself not only as a master realist but also as a good psychologist who is able to probe into the minds of people in different situations.

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