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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 21 Summary

  • Pierre walks out of his carriage to look out from the barrow to see the future battlefield.
  • He can’t figure out what he’s looking at, so he asks some nearby officers to explain. One of them points out the village of Borodino, then shows Pierre where the Russian and French troops are positioned.
  • Everyone he comes across is all, and you are who exactly? And why are you here? Shmoop has to say, this whole thing about Pierre being some kind of war tourist is darkly funny. Seriously – he’s going around trying to find the best vantage point to see the sights? It’s hilarious and horrible at the same time.
  • Suddenly there is yelling from down the road.
  • Turns out a sacred icon – the Smolenskaya Mother of God – is being paraded down the road for the army.
  • The icon is carried to the top of the hill, everyone gathers around, and a priest starts the sermon. A few Germans in the crowd also listen politely.
  • At the end of the service, Kutuzov comes out of nowhere (he’s just been making the rounds and happened to come across this service). He kneels, crosses himself, prays, kisses the icon, and is just barely able to stand back up again.
  • He looks old and weak.

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