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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 2, Part 3, Chapter 13 Summary

  • One night Natasha goes to her mom’s bedroom to have some girl talk before bed. They are very sweet and clearly very close.
  • Natasha wants to talk about Boris. Her mom is all, well, you’re 16 years old, and that’s how old I was when I got married to your father. But on the other hand, you totally can’t marry him.
  • Why? Well, he’s poor, he’s a distant cousin (which, truth be told, isn’t usually much of an issue, if the social and money things line up, but still). But mostly it’s because Natasha doesn’t really love him and is just stringing him along – she is just starting to see that she is now a desirable woman.
  • Countess Rostov then tells Natasha that Boris needs to stop coming to visit all the time. He’s scaring away any actual suitors, and it doesn’t look right.
  • Natasha is bummed but realizes her mom is right. Still, she wishes they could kind of just date instead of having to either get married or not. (You hear that, guys? Everyone say a big thank you for the 21st century, where you don’t have to marry the first guy you meet because you’ve been flirting a little too heavily. Phew!)
  • Natasha then tries to tell her mom about how she sees Boris as a gray color and Pierre as dark blue with red. Her mom is all, huh?
  • Luckily for you, Shmoop knows what Natasha is talking about. It turns out she has synesthesia. That’s a condition where the neural pathways of different senses are stimulated together. For instance, a smell can trigger an associated sound, or words can trigger colors. Characters who have this neurological condition in literature tend to be romantic, full of feelings, and sometimes artistic. Let’s keep reading to see if Natasha fits the bill.
  • The next day Countess Rostov has a little chat with Boris and makes him an offer he can’t refuse. He stops coming by.

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