Tolstoy introduces the concept of destiny earlier in the novel, but he expands on his ideas about fate and the way it intervenes with humans and their decisions during Book 9. First he talks about how nothing is the cause of the war, it’s the sum of all these little things added up. He then talks about the characters, saying “[every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity” (538). This quote shows that Tolstoy believes that everybody’s path is laid out for them and character’s decisions don’t impact their fate because it was already planned.
Some say that Tolstoy displays himself through his characters in his novel, but relating to his beliefs about fate I am not sure if he does. His characters do not seem to attribute many things to fate, for they become extremely upset at decisions others make and decisions they make themselves. Natasha becomes physically ill after having her heart broken by Anatole, and thinks of herself as a bad person for falling in love with him. She doesn’t seem to attribute her actions to fate, but to her own terrible soul and bad decisions. Prince Andrew is extremely upset at Anatole when he discovers the situation and searches for a duel. He doesn’t attribute Natasha’s falling in love to predestination but to Anatole’s manipulation.