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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 2, Part 1, Chapter 9 Summary

  • Andrei walks into the room where Liza is in labor. She is so out of it that she doesn’t really see him or recognize him or realize that it’s kind of a big deal that he suddenly showed up.
  • Uh-oh, guys, that’s not a great sign.
  • There’s a lot of waiting, some more cries of pain, and then the sound of a crying baby.
  • Andrei at first is like, why did they bring a baby here? But then realizes, duh, that’s his kid.
  • He runs into the room, but everyone there is kind of quiet and strange.
  • Why, you ask? Because Liza is dead.
  • Shmoop brain snack: back then, it was relatively common for women to die in childbirth or shortly after. No hygiene, no prenatal care, no understanding of infection, no antibiotics...you get the picture. It was a leading cause of death for young women.
  • Liza's funeral is really sad. She died with an accusatory-looking expression on her face, so everyone at the funeral feels guilty any time they look at her body.
  • Then, a week later, the baby is baptized. All goes well.
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