Anna Karenina features significant clusters of scenes, all of which describe notable moments in the development of the novel's major figures. One of the most important clusters is when Anna travels to see Vronsky. On her way her perceptions change; she throws her "searchlight" upon herself. Arriving at the next station she sees the rails and knows what must be done.
Anna has had control over her own life taken away from her, due to the societal limitations on her choices as a woman. She becomes resentful of the society she lives in, and turns that frustration on the unsympathetic Vronsky, who retains his own freedom as well as control over her own happiness. She is too proud and passionate to live in subordination, as Dolly Oblonsky does. Anna cannot conceive of going on indefinitely as she has been, and at the same time can take no pleasure from contemplation of her past, or her future, which holds no prospect of change. Feeling trapped and untrue to her own unwanted desires, she begins to see the entire world as a wretched place populated by miserable, entrapped individuals just like herself. Through death alone, she feels she can secure a place in Vronsky's heart. Death is also the only decision that she is free to carry out on her own.
The place that Anna occupies is like that of a child, making up tasks for herself to fill the time, while others make the decisions that affect her life. Anna tries to interest herself with educating the English girl, writing a children's book, but these are all distractions from the fact that she has nowhere to go. Oblonsky and Karenin meet to try to settle the question of Anna's future, without inviting Anna to plead for herself or otherwise a...
... middle of paper ...
...bout whether or not the maidservant will remember to put clean sheets on the guests' beds. But neither of these women's roles are true to her own desires. To stay on this earth is to place control of her life in the hands of a man whom she is not certain loves her. Anna's decision is incomprehensible to Madame Vronsky: "Can you understand these desperate passions?" (812). But from our view of Anna's mental landscape, we can understand them all too well.
Jahn, Gary R. “The Images of the Railroad in Anna Karenina,” Slavic and East European Journal 2 (1981): 1-10.
Mandelker, Amy. “Feminist Criticism and Anna Karenina.” Tolstoy Studies Journal III (1990): 82-103
Nitze, Paul H. & Foreword. The Complete Idiots Guide to Leo Tolstoy. London: Henry Z. Walck, 1994.
Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Trans. Joel Carmichael. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1960.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Use Of Indirect Characterization in Anna Karenina Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, is famous for his novels, among them, Anna Karenina . It is said that Tolstoy reaches "unsurpassed perfection in the realistic art of the novel" with Anna Karenina . In the novel Anna Karenina , Tolstoy leads the reader through Anna Arkadyevna Karenin's life and all the people who surround her. The reader follows Anna as she sorts out a fight between her brother Stepan and his wife Dolly. Next the reader finds themselves trailing Anna as she dances away from a Moscow ball with Count Vronsky's heart.... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
897 words (2.6 pages)
- Anna Karenina - The Complex Character of Constantine Dmitrich Levin In the novel Anna Karenina, written by Leo Tolstoy, both major and minor characters played important roles through out the story. One protagonist, Constantine Dmitrich Levin, caught my interest as being a compassionate, moral character. Constantine Dmitrich Levin is a complex character whose direct and indirect characterization emphasizes a search for balance. Constantine Dmitrich Levin, often called Levin or Constantine, later Kostya by Kitty, is a farmer in eighteenth century Russia.... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
857 words (2.4 pages)
- Foreshadowing in Anna Karenina Throughout life there are situations which arise that seem to have been hinted earlier. You might not have noticed the hint when it first appeared, but suddenly at one point it finally dawns on you. The same goes for the literary aspect of foreshadowing. The novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy has many instances where the situations are similar to the one described above. The following paragraphs will present the foreshadowing that is included in this novel.... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
478 words (1.4 pages)
- The question of judgment and sympathies in Anna Karenina is one that seems to become more complicated each time I read the novel. The basic problem with locating the voice of judgment is that throughout the novel, there are places where we feel less than comfortable with the seemingly straightforward, at times even didactic presentation of Anna and Vronsky's fall into sin alongside Levin's constant moral struggle. As Anna's story unfolds in its episodic manner within the context of the rest of the novel, Tolstoy seems to be trying to make the fact of her guilt more and more clear to us; at the same time though, we have more and more difficulty in tracing out the specific locus of th... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
1793 words (5.1 pages)
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is a novel about love and marriage among the Russian aristocracy in the 1870s. Anna is young, beautiful woman married to a powerful government minister, Karenin. She falls in love with the elegant Count Vronsky and after becoming pregnant by him, leaves her husband Karenin and her son Seryozha to live with her lover. Despite the intervention of friends such as her brother Oblonsky, an adulterer himself, she is unable to obtain a divorce, and lives isolated from the society that once glorified her.... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Russian Literature]
1560 words (4.5 pages)
- Themes of Life and Death in Anna Karenina The novel, Anna Karenina, parallels its heroine's, Anna Karenina, moral and social conflicts with Constantin Levin's internal struggle to find the meaning of life. There are many other underlying themes which links the novel as a whole, yet many critics at the time only looked upon its critical view of Russian life. Henry James called Tolstoy's novels as "loose and baggy monsters' of stylessness, but Tolstoy stated of Anna Karenina ".....I am very proud of its architecture--its vaults are joined so that one cannot even notice where the keystone is." That is absolutely correct, because within Anna Karenina, there exists many themes that are all lin... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
1344 words (3.8 pages)
- Less Could be More in Anna Karenina Anna Karenina was well-written, with a good plot, and valuable themes. But it fell short in each of these categories, because Tolstoy simply tried to do too much. The language was beautiful but, at times, far too descriptive. The plot was also well written, but tedious and hard to follow in many parts of the book. And the Themes were great and important, but they were many, and at times, not appropriate for this book. The book was great, but it could have said much more, and been better, if Tolstoy had said a little less.... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
827 words (2.4 pages)
- The Characters of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina By examining the character list, one immediately notices the value Tolstoy places on character. With one hundred and forty named characters and several other unnamed characters, Tolstoy places his central focus in Anna Karenina on the characters. He uses their actions and behavior to develop the plot and exemplify the major themes of the novel. Tolstoy wishes to examine life as it really is. Tolstoy gives us a lifelike representation in Anna Karenina by creating characters, both major and minor, that contribute to the sense of realism.... [tags: Tolstoy Anna Karenina Essays]
1685 words (4.8 pages)
- Tolstoy's Anna Karenina By examining the character list, one immediately notices the value Tolstoy places on character. With one hundred and forty named characters and several other unnamed characters, Tolstoy places his central focus in Anna Karenina on the characters. He uses their actions and behavior to develop the plot and exemplify the major themes of the novel. In contrast to Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Tolstoy wishes to examine life as it really is. Both novels have relationships and adultery as a central theme.... [tags: Anna Karenina Tolstoy]
1653 words (4.7 pages)
- Tolstoy's Anna Karenina The world of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a world ruled by chance. From the very opening chapters, where a watchman is accidentally run over by a train at Moscow's Petersburg station, to the final, climactic scenes of arbitrary destruction when Levin searches for Kitty in a forest beset by lightning, characters are brought together and forced into action against their will by coincidence and, sometimes, misfortune. That Anna and Vronsky ever meet and begin the fateful affair that becomes the centerpiece of the novel is itself a consequence of a long chain of unrelated events: culminating Anna's sharing a berth with Vronsky's mother on her way to reconcile D... [tags: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina]
3028 words (8.7 pages)
- Themes of Life and Death in Anna Karenina
- Women in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
- Essay on Hector as the Ideal Homeric Man of Homer's Iliad
- Characterization in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
- Susan Isaacs's Critique of Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo
- Paper as a Metaphor in A Streetcar Named Desire