I very much like the idea that we need to “ build up robust responses to unpleasant situations.”
Mike Turso

Mike Turso,

I agree. This is a central theme in the novel. It’s also interesting to see how the various characters go about doing it. Marya, obviously, takes a spiritual and religious approach. Her brother Andrei, on the other hand, is more secular about it with his abstract, lofty philosophical musings. Pierre is kind of in between but more practical. Like in today’s chapter, Pierre looks to specific, concrete things in his life that need fixing. Natasha is led by her emotions. Nikolai too.

More on this later as the novel develops.