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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

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.
  • Kutuzov predicts the battle will be lost.

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