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“Yes! It’s all vanity, it’s all an illusion, everything except that infinite sky!”
For me, reading that really puts my anxieties into perspective.
I’m so glad that Natasha and Pierre end up together at long last, after so many individual struggles. Their family life illustrated in the epilogue appears so settled and loving, and they must be great parents! I certainly prefer this match to that of Nikolay and Marya – for some reason they appear quite awkward together to me. Readers may criticise Natasha for “letting herself go”, but I think that she’s just transitioned into a more mature, settled stage of life after so much difficulty. I prefer her like this, to be honest; as a child she’s a bit too bratty.
My favourite character in the epilogue of War and Peace is probably little Nikolay. His admiration of Pierre is so heartwarming, and the closing lines of the epilogue carry so much hope for the future:
“But Uncle Pierre! Oh, what a wonderful man he is! And then there’s my father. Father! Father! Yes, I’m going to do something even he would have been pleased with.”
We are left with the traditional views of (the older) Nikolay, and the forward-thinking, modern minds of Pierre and little Nikolay. By having Pierre as a mentor, I’m sure that he will make his father proud.
I’m really glad that I’ve re-read this: it has definitely been worth the effort. I’m sure that I’ll return to it many times more in the future. If you haven’t read it before, do it!
|This is such a lovely, simple picture of Tolstoy. From www.linguadex.com
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