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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 20 Summary

  • August 25, Pierre gets to the road outside Mozhaisk, a town near Borodino.
  • A cart rides past him loaded with wounded soldiers. It’s kind of grisly, and one of the wounded men tells Pierre that the army is now full of untrained peasants in addition to trained soldiers. Presumably, these poor guys are just cannon fodder.
  • Pierre rides further and runs into someone he knows. When he tells this guy that he wants to be in the battle, the guy advises him to talk to Kutuzov. He sends him on to the town of Tatarinovo, where the trenches are being dug.
  • Suddenly Pierre has the thought that the thousands of young, healthy men he sees around him are going to be chopped to pieces tomorrow.
  • Around the corner, Pierre sees some peasants digging the defensive barrow and thinks about the wounded soldier’s point about the untrained being pressed into service.

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