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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.