War and Peace Volume 1, Part 3, Chapter 11 Summary
The next day, the emperor stays home, sick with feelings. He’s feeling feelings about the dead soldiers he saw and the feelings feel sad enough for him to need a doctor.
Meanwhile, Napoleon sends over an envoy to talk peace. The Russians send Dolgorukov. Dolgorukov comes back that night to say no dice.
The army marches. Oh, how the army marches! Like a clock.
OK, Shmoopy brain snack time: check out the long, long, long simile comparing the army to the innards of a clock. This kind of extended comparison is called a Homeric simile. Why? Um, because Homer used them a lot. This is one of the ways this novel takes on the epic genre. Go read all about it in the “Genre” section. We’ll wait right here.
Back? Good. Andrei sees that General Kutuzov is in a major huff about something. Turns out that no one in command is listening to him.
The big choice of strategy is this:
1. Dolgorukov thinks Napoleon was negotiating for peace because he’s scared of a big attack. So Dolgorukov is all, let’s attack ASAP.
2. Kutuzov thinks they should wait some more and not go on the offensive, since they don’t know how his army is positioned, so it’s hard to figure out a battle plan.
Meh, no one listens to him, and the plan to attack is all set.