We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
War and Peace

War and Peace

  

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 4, Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary

  • Does Napoleon's work? Um, no.
  • Murat can’t find Kutuzov.
  • The messengers never even get to Alexander.
  • All of Moscow burns down.
  • Looting and pillaging goes on without stop.
  • Whoever tried to deliver the proclamations to the peasants hiding in the woods was captured and killed.
  • The theaters immediately failed because the actors and actresses were harassed and robbed.
  • There is theft, fighting, robbery, and rape everywhere.
  • After all that, the French army is suddenly gripped by fear after the battle at Tarutino, and they flee Moscow.
  • But first they load up with stolen goods and loot and are as heavily weighed down with stuff as they could possibly be.
  • Does Napoleon tell them to leave all this stuff behind? No, he just figures it’ll be fine.
  • To sum up, with some awesome mockery on Tolstoy’s part: “During the whole of that period Napoleon, who seems to us to have been the leader of all these movements – as the figurehead of a ship may seem to a savage to guide the vessel – acted like a child who, holding a couple of straps tied inside a carriage, thinks that he is driving it” (4.2.10.22). Oh snap!

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement