Anna Karenina Essay

Anna Karenina Essay

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Photographs, despite their reputation as a form of proof, can be at most, an interpretation of reality because after all, cameras have a limited dynamic range (the range from light to dark) and a limited depth of field. Still, the human eye is even more subjective than a roll of film because past experiences, gossip and most importantly, emotion can alter one’s perception of a person. Perception can also be influenced by how someone wants to appear and in fact, everyone consciously acts to present a certain image. This is especially true and perhaps mocked in Anna Karenina, where appearance and reality are related much like the sides of a die –– each side is independent of the others, and yet without each side the reality of the die is not complete.
As multi-faced characters, Kitty and Levin present an interesting case: as unwed individuals looking for “compatible” spouses, they both find it necessary to present a carefully maintained facade in order to attract members of the aristocracy who look to maintain the status quo. However, even after these characters project outward an aura to please their peers, their personalities can be interpreted in different ways, which must be disappointing to Kitty and Levin as they seek to change people’s opinion and not just influence it.
In relation to Levin, Kitty is much more aggressively adaptive, that is, she will do anything to appear more desirable. After all, after seeing how successful and popular Anna is, Kitty is enthralled by everything Anna does and then deliberately mimics Anna to draw attention to herself. And even after Kitty shakes off her infatuation with the idea of a perfect Anna, Kitty starts to “unconsciously” copy Varenka, who she regards as “the perfection she co...


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...r an intelligent but easily influenced woman and the appearance of such a persona masking Kitty’s true personality.
In comparison to other marriages in Anna Karenina, we can consider Kitty and Levin’s marriage to be highly successful, mainly because it is still an infantile marriage and because each character believes their partner to be the most wonderful person they could have married and this alone contents them. Their marriage is built on a foundation of mutual attraction, though it is not just a physical bond that connects the two, but a series of favorable circumstances that allow both to feel attracted to each other. However, both beauty and circumstances change and thus just like a photo can never be more than just a split second’s interpretation of an event, Kitty and Levin’s marriage cannot maintain the fairytale appearance that it currently projects.

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