War and Peace

War and Peace

by

Leo Tolstoy

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Petya is the youngest of the Rostov children, idealistic and emotional. In 1812, he’s desperate to join the army and swoons in a crowd at the Kremlin while waiting for a glimpse of Emperor Alexander. Later that year, he winds up with Denisov’s partisan detachment. He is generous and tender-hearted, wanting to help a timid French captive. Desperate for heroism, he has a tendency to behave wildly in battle and is forbidden to participate in the partisan fighting. After accompanying Dolokhov on a successful scouting mission, he joins the partisan attack, ignores Denisov’s warnings, and gets fatally shot. His death devastates his parents.

Petya Rostov Quotes in War and Peace

The War and Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Petya Rostov or refer to Petya Rostov. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of War and Peace published in 2008.
Volume 3, Part 1: Chapters 19–23 Quotes

“Angel! Father! Hurrah! Dearest! . . .” cried the people and Petya, and again peasant women and a few men of the weaker sort, including Petya, wept with happiness. A rather large piece of the biscuit that the sovereign was holding broke off, fell onto the railing of the balcony, and from there to the ground. A cabby in a jerkin, who was standing closest of all, rushed to this piece of biscuit and snatched it up. Some people in the crowd rushed to the cabby. Noticing that, the sovereign asked for a plate of biscuits to be brought and began tossing biscuits from the balcony. Petya’s eyes became bloodshot, the danger of being crushed aroused him still more, he rushed for the biscuits. He did not know why, but it was necessary to take a biscuit from the tsar’s hands, and necessary not to give it up. He rushed and tripped up a little old woman who was trying to catch a biscuit. […] Petya knocked her arm aside with his knee, snatched a biscuit, and, as if afraid to be late, again shouted “Hurrah!” in a voice now grown hoarse.

Related Characters: Petya Rostov (speaker), Emperor Alexander I
Page Number: 675
Explanation and Analysis:
Volume 4, Part 4: Chapters 1–3 Quotes

The wound in the mother’s soul could not heal. Petya’s death tore away half of her life. A month after the news of Petya’s death, which had found her a fresh and cheerful fifty-year-old woman, she came out of her room an old woman— half-dead and taking no part in life. But the same wound that half killed the countess, this new wound called Natasha to life. […]

[A] wound in the soul, like a physical wound, can be healed only by the force of life pushing up from inside. This was the way Natasha’s wound healed. She thought her life was over. But suddenly her love for her mother showed her that the essence of life— love— was still alive in her. Love awoke, and life awoke.

Page Number: 1080
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire War and Peace LitChart as a printable PDF.
War and Peace PDF

Petya Rostov Character Timeline in War and Peace

The timeline below shows where the character Petya Rostov appears in War and Peace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 1, Part 1: Chapters 14–17
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Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
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...earning praise from Julie Karagin (which makes Sonya blush). Natasha, dared by her little brother Petya, speaks out of turn, demanding to know what they’re having for dessert. When the countess... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 1: Chapters 1–6
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The next morning, Nikolai and Denisov oversleep, and Nikolai’s little brother Petya bursts into their bedroom, leaving Natasha and Sonya laughing at the brief, forbidden glimpse of... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 4: Chapters 1–6
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...a family of wolves in the Otradnoe woods. Just before they set out, Natasha and Petya, who’s now 13, burst into Nikolai’s study, hoping to come along. Despite Nikolai’s protests, Natasha... (full context)
Volume 2, Part 4: Chapters 7–13
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...that he agrees to stop by his uncle’s house in a nearby village. Natasha and Petya join them. When the uncle’s servants see a lady on horseback, they unabashedly surround her... (full context)
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Soon Petya runs in announcing that the mummers have come. Costumed servants fill the reception room with... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 1: Chapters 16–18
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...winter at Otradnoe and knows such hope and joy will never be hers again. Sometimes Petya can make her laugh, and when Pierre comes to visit, she is grateful for his... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 1: Chapters 19–23
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...blushes, so moved that he almost declares his love to her again, but then 15-year-old Petya runs into the room. He secretly wants to join the hussars and hopes Pierre can... (full context)
European Culture vs. The Russian Soul Theme Icon
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Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...of Moscow, and his commitment to stand among them. Afterward, Count Rostov is teary-eyed. Blushing, Petya goes up to his father and says he wants to join the military. Countess Rostov... (full context)
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After Pierre’s visit, Petya goes to his room and cries. The next day, he dresses carefully. The Emperor is... (full context)
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As Petya’s pain subsides, he relishes his favored vantage point. While the emperor attends a prayer service... (full context)
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...remain gathered beneath his balcony. When he steps out to greet them, many people, including Petya, begin to cry. When the sovereign accidentally drops a piece of the biscuit he’s holding,... (full context)
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...Rostov goes home and tearfully tells his wife about the affecting scene; he also signs Petya up for service, his misgivings vanished. After the sovereign leaves Moscow, the noblemen return to... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 2: Chapters 15–18
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...the Count wants to return to the country, but the Countess insists on waiting for Petya, who’s joined the Cossacks but is soon to be transferred to Pierre’s regiment. Julie teases... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 3: Chapters 10–14
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The Rostovs stay in Moscow until September 1st. Now that Petya, too, has joined the army, the Countess is constantly fearful. The Count, in an effort... (full context)
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In the bustle surrounding Petya’s visit, Sonya is the only Rostov who deals with the practical details of leaving. Yet... (full context)
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Petya and Natasha, on the other hand, don’t help with packing. Instead they spend their time... (full context)
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...with bad news about the abandonment of Moscow, absentmindedly agree to Natasha’s request. At dinner, Petya excitedly talks about the battle that’s expected tomorrow. The countess begs her husband to take... (full context)
Volume 3, Part 3: Chapters 15–17
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Outside in the courtyard, Petya tells Natasha that their parents are quarrelling over giving carts to the wounded. Natasha runs... (full context)
Volume 4, Part 3: Chapters 1–4
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...young officer arrives with a message from his general. The officer turns out to be Petya Rostov. Denisov warmly welcomes Nikolai’s little brother and lets him spend the night. (full context)
Volume 4, Part 3: Chapters 5–11
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Denisov and Petya overlook the French camp from a spot in the forest. Below, a large number of... (full context)
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...encounters with the French, Denisov is annoyed that the scout didn’t bring back any prisoners. Petya joins in the laughter, but when he hears that Tikhon killed a Frenchman, he looks... (full context)
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After the Rostovs left Moscow, Petya was attached as orderly to a general. After being promoted to officer and fighting in... (full context)
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At the guardhouse, Petya excitedly joins the officers’ dinner. He keeps pulling gifts like raisins and flints out of... (full context)
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When Dolokhov arrives and plans to scope out the French encampment, Petya defies Denisov and goes along. They dress in French uniforms and bluster their way into... (full context)
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Back at the guardhouse, Denisov is relieved that Petya returns safely. Unable to sleep, Petya chats with a Cossack who sharpens Petya’s saber for... (full context)
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Denisov gives last-minute orders for the attack. Petya stands with his horse, trembling. As they mount up, Denisov sternly warns Petya to listen... (full context)
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After receiving word that the French will surrender, Dolokhov looks at Petya’s body and tells Denisov that the boy is “finished.” The Cossacks look at Denisov in... (full context)
Volume 4, Part 3: Chapters 12–15
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...past, a cruel gleam in his eye. Denisov follows some Cossacks to a pit where Petya Rostov will be buried. (full context)
Volume 4, Part 4: Chapters 1–3
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...her mother retreats into insanity, unable to believe she can live in a world without Petya. Natasha doesn’t leave her side during that time. (full context)
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Before Petya’s death, the Countess had been a lively 50-year-old woman, but when she finally emerges from... (full context)
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Prince Andrei’s and Petya’s deaths draw Princess Marya and Natasha closer together. From that time, a deep, tender bond... (full context)
Volume 4, Part 4: Chapters 12–14
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...others, and difficulty in finding a carriage. On the day of his release, he saw Petya Rostov’s body. He also learned of Prince Andrei’s death over a month after his wounding... (full context)
Epilogue, Part 1: Chapters 5–7
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...The events of the previous year—the burning of Moscow, Prince Andrei’s death and Natasha’s sorrow, Petya’s death and the Countess’s grief—seemed too much for the Count. Even as he helped prepare... (full context)