War and Peace

War and Peace

by

Leo Tolstoy

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Platon is a fellow prisoner whom Pierre meets while in French custody. He is a gentle, wise peasant who reassures Pierre and seems to be “the embodiment of everything Russian.” He is full of homespun sayings and stories. On the march, he travels with a bowlegged dog named Gray and, after weakening from a fever, gets shot as a straggler. Pierre sees Platon as the embodiment of someone who loves life despite suffering guiltlessly.

Platon Karataev Quotes in War and Peace

The War and Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Platon Karataev or refer to Platon Karataev. 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 4, Part 1: Chapters 9–13 Quotes

Karataev had no attachments, friendships, or love, as Pierre understood them; but he loved and lived lovingly with everything that life brought his way, especially other people— not any specific people, but those who were there before his eyes. He loved his mutt, his comrades, the French, he loved Pierre, who was his neighbor; but Pierre sensed that, despite all his gentle tenderness towards him […] Karataev would not have been upset for a moment to be parted from him. And Pierre was beginning to experience the same feeling towards Karataev. […]

But for Pierre he remained forever as he had seen him the first night, the unfathomable, round, and eternal embodiment of the spirit of simplicity and truth.

Related Characters: Pierre Bezukhov, Platon Karataev
Page Number: 974
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire War and Peace LitChart as a printable PDF.
War and Peace PDF

Platon Karataev Character Timeline in War and Peace

The timeline below shows where the character Platon Karataev appears in War and Peace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 4, Part 1: Chapters 9–13
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...prisoner in a hospital, where he was suffering from a fever. He introduces himself as Platon Karataev. A peasant, he was sent into the army for going into another man’s grove.... (full context)
Society and Wealth Theme Icon
European Culture vs. The Russian Soul Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...four weeks. Though much of this remains a fog in Pierre’s mind, he always remembers Platon Karataev, who seems to Pierre “the embodiment of everything Russian.” What Pierre remembers most is... (full context)
Volume 4, Part 2: Chapters 8–14
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
A French soldier comes by the prisoners’ shed and pays Platon for a shirt Platon has sewn for him. The soldier asks Platon to give back... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...strong he really is, and he endures them joyfully. In his experiences and in knowing Karataev, he finally discovers the inner harmony and peace with himself that he’d sought in other... (full context)
Volume 4, Part 3: Chapters 12–15
War and Peace Theme Icon
...as cold and hungry as themselves, and they treat them more harshly. Pierre reunites with Karataev and his sidekick, a bowlegged dog. Three days after leaving Moscow, Karataev comes down with... (full context)
European Culture vs. The Russian Soul Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
On October 22nd, Pierre walks along with Gray the dog, thinking about a conversation with Platon Karataev the night before. When he walked up to Platon’s campfire, he felt uncomfortable seeing... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...form up to let a well-dressed convoy pass by. About the same time, Pierre spots Karataev leaning against a tree, his face both tender and solemn. Karataev catches Pierre’s eye, and... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...the village of Shamshevo, and Pierre falls asleep by the fire. He dreams vividly of Karataev, knowing that the hardest and happiest thing is to love life while suffering guiltlessly. When... (full context)
Volume 4, Part 4: Chapters 15–20
Love, Marriage, and Family Theme Icon
Happiness and the Meaning of Life  Theme Icon
...witnessing the executions; Natasha urges him not to leave any details out. When he describes Karataev, Pierre’s voice trembles. As he tells his story and Natasha listens, sensitively taking in each... (full context)
Epilogue, Part 1: Chapters 8–16
Natasha asks Pierre if Platon Karataev would have approved of his activities. Pierre reflects that Platon would have approved of... (full context)