It is one of the most memorable scenes in War and Peace: the duel between Pierre and Dolokhov. Tolstoy builds up the tension steadily. The scene is told from Pierre’s perspective, so that the reader really feels Pierre’s hurt feelings and damaged pride from a front row position.
Pierre had married Hélène against his better knowledge. He knew that there was something strange about her, he had heard something about her improper relationship with her brother Anatole, but still he married her. It doesn’t take long for Hélène to show her true nature, but for now Pierre ignores his problems.
Even when there are rumours going around that Hélène has an affair with Dolokhov, his friend who he has offered a place to stay, has lent money and knows only too well, he does not want to believe them. Bottled up feelings, however, have the nasty…
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