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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 2, Part 1, Chapter 6 Summary

  • Pierre lies around trying to figure out where everything went wrong in his life.
  • His conclusion is that he married a woman he didn’t love because he wanted to sleep with her. Pretty insightful, that Pierre, right?
  • Then he starts thinking back about his life with Helene:
  • 1. They don’t really spend any time alone together; they either just have guests over or hang out by themselves.
  • 2. She is kind of vulgar and gross.
  • 3. She’s way too physically affectionate with her brother Anatole.
  • 4. When he asked about kids, she told him that she isn’t stupid enough to want any, and certainly not with him.
  • All of which adds up to a pretty crummy life, with some guilty sex thrown in.  He decides to leave in the morning and to write her a letter instead of talking to her.
  • But in the morning, she comes to his study.
  • Helene knows all about the duel. She’s angry and bitter and spiteful and sarcastic about it.
  • According to her, it’s all groundless jealousy – she never cheated on him. Also, according to her, this is going to now make them laughingstocks in Moscow.
  • Suddenly Pierre explodes. He grabs a chunk of marble from a nearby table and yells that he’s going to kill her. She screams and runs away...which is a good thing for her, because he really was about to kill her.
  • Wow, Pierre. One duel and suddenly you’re a serial killer.
  • A week later Pierre gives Helene more than half of his fortune and goes to Petersburg.

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