Film still from the 1967 Communist Russia adaptation
Now that many of the characters have been introduced, I am wondering where our readers' sympathies lie. A 19th century book, and therefore more plot- than character-driven, it is nevertheless vital that readers in it for the long haul find someone in whom they discover a particular respect, if not outright affection. As The Secretary wrote in the last post, we've been introduced to a multitude of characters and it can be difficult to differentiate the Annas and Nikolays if one's attention wanders or misses a few days' read. As was posted yesterday, we witness them in soirees and feasts and their public face seems to fall in accordance with regiphilia and patriotism. Princes and princesses, they represent the very economic apex of Russian society. What I'm interested is how a 21st century (mostly American) reading audience reacts to their antiquated fetishization of monarchy and relative obliviousness to the big, bad world outside their gilded doors.
I have to say so far my sympathies thus far are with Pierre, though reluctant they are. And though he has operated very much as a counterpoint to the philosophies to his peers and elders, I am willing to imagine his character will be transformed by his coming inheritance. Besides that, it's hard to judge that his viewpoints are anything more than a childish wish to play the Devil's Advocate. Tying up a policeman to a live bear can seem anti-authority if you're generous but it betrays a mischievous immaturity below the worldly facade and declaration of support for Napoleon's egalitarian proclamations.
Anyone else want to share their sympathies thus far...?