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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

Pierre Bezukhov Timeline and Summary

  • In 1805, Pierre comes back from France to see his dying father in Petersburg. Pierre is Count Bezukhov's favorite bastard child.
  • Count Bezukhov acknowledges him.
  • Pierre is friends with Andrei but doesn't listen to his advice to stop with the booze and women.
  • Instead, Pierre hangs out with Anatole Kuragin and a bunch of crazy partiers.
  • After they strap a policeman to a bear and throw them in the river, all the guys, including Pierre, are kicked out of Petersburg.
  • Count Bezukhov dies, and after a struggle over the will, Pierre inherits all his father's estates and wealth.
  • Pierre is ruled by his sex drive and is easily talked into marrying the super-sexy but morally bankrupt Helene Kuragin, who promptly starts cheating on him.
  • Pierre introduces Natasha to Andrei at a ball. He also realizes that he is in love with her.
  • He duels with Helene's lover, Dolokhov, managing to wound him and get away unhurt.
  • Freaking out about this, Pierre kicks Helene out of the house.
  • Pierre becomes a Freemason and tries to do good works, like improving conditions for his serfs. All these good works fail and he becomes more and more disenchanted with Freemasonry.
  • He finds out that his friend Natasha has broken off her engagement with Andrei and has almost eloped with Anatole. He comes over to comfort her.
  • When Napoleon's troops get near Moscow, Pierre pays for a militia force and also goes to the battle of Borodino on his own.
  • During the battle, he first watches the men at the battery and then starts helping carry ammo.
  • Afterward he goes back to Moscow and stays behind even after all the residents leave.
  • Disguising himself, Pierre kind of goes crazy and starts to believe, based on numerology, that he is destined to kill Napoleon. He gets a gun and plans his move.
  • When a French officer is quartered in the same house, Pierre saves him from being shot, then befriends him.
  • Pierre makes his way to kill Napoleon when he sees a family that had to leave their daughter behind when they fled the fire that's destroying Moscow.
  • Pierre goes back into their house and rescues the little girl.
  • When he comes back, he sees French soldiers about to rape a young woman and stops them.
  • He is taken prisoner for this, almost shot, and then forced to follow the French army on its retreat from Moscow.
  • He meets a saintly and wise peasant named Platon and finally figures out the meaning of life amid all the deprivation.
  • A guerrilla force of Russians rescues Pierre, and he goes back to Moscow.
  • He finds out that his wife has died under mysterious circumstances.
  • In Moscow he runs into Natasha, who is now much older and wiser for all her trials and tribulations.
  • He still loves her, and she falls in love with him.
  • They marry and have four children. Their marriage is very happy, and Pierre turns into a domestic husband and hands-on father.