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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 1, Part 1, Chapter 6 Summary

  • Bro-time at Andrei’s comes to an end when his wife busts into the room and starts complaining about him going to war.
  • Andrei totally ignores her, acting like she’s not in the room.
  • Liza keeps on joke-complaining – clearly she’s feeling uncomfortable that Pierre is also in the room.  But then she decides to launch into the real problem.
  • Get ready for this one, guys. Turns out Andrei’s been a total jerk to her ever since she became pregnant. (She’s six months along, remember?)
  • But maybe this isn’t the best way to get to the bottom of things, since Andrei and Liza clearly need some couples’ therapy and not just to bicker with each other in front of a friend.
  • Andrei tries to head the tirade off at the pass; he clearly doesn’t care about what Liza is saying. Liza takes one for the team, apologizes, and takes off.
  • Andrei gets all sad and serious and tells Pierre that he is totally regretting having gotten married and losing all his freedom. His wife is sucking him into gossipy parties like the one they just came from, and he hates all that society garbage.
  • Pierre is shocked to hear all of this, because to him Andrei is everything that any man could hope to be: smart, handsome, rich, talented, suave, and generally totally awesome.
  • Andrei again tells Pierre never to get married, then makes him promise not to ever go to another one of Anatole Kuragin’s parties. Anatole is living a frat-boy lifestyle, and Pierre, who is staying with the Kuragins, has been hanging out with him too much.
  • Pierre promises never to hang with Anatole again. Then he leaves Andrei’s and immediately goes to one of Anatole’s parties.
  • It’s a drunken frat party – or, you know, what a frat party would be for rich 19th-century aristocrats. Some guys are wrestling a bear (no, seriously, this was a thing). Others are betting on drinking contests.
  • The loudest bet is between an English sailor and a Russian army officer named Dolokhov. We’ll call him Double-Down, since that’s what he wants to do.  The bet is that he’s going to chug a bottle of rum while sitting in a third-floor window without holding on to anything. The double-down is for anyone who joins him.  No one joins.
  • There’s a little tension, but – spoiler alert – he manages not to plummet to his death.
  • This whole thing makes Pierre uncomfortable, but under the guidance of his buddy Anatole he ends up chugging some wine.
  • Now totally wasted, Pierre offers to repeat the rum-in-the-window trick, but he’s such an awkward and clumsy guy that no one will take him up on the bet. Instead, he makes plans for another get-together and starts wrestling the bear.

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