Less Could be More in Anna Karenina

Less Could be More in Anna Karenina

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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.


The language in Anna Karenina was wonderful, although graphic and too descriptive in much of the book. Tolstoy was a great writer, and that is why this book is a classic. However, he should have made choices about what to emphasize, and what not to. Tolstoy had a great writing style. He used some wonderful techniques and literary devices in his writing to make is books so great. One example of this is how he often times placed characters in his books that mirrored himself, as is true with Anna Karenina. While this tool can be effective, in Anna Karenina it was mostly awkward. This character seemed to be somewhat misplaced, and unimportant. He also used a good deal of foreshadowing to give his books a more unique style. In one instance during Anna Karenina, Anna arrives at the train station to find that a man has been run-over by the train, which greatly foreshadows her own poignant suicide in part seven of the book. Tolstoy's language is compelling and fluid. He paints a clear and accurate picture in the reader's mind of all the details throughout the book. But his strength can very much be his weakness, because in trying to be so thorough and compelling, he over-analyzed and over-described many parts of the book.


The themes of this book were many. Some were well developed and appropriate to the story, but others seemed unnecessary. The books major themes were marriage and unhappiness, while the book also deals with depression, and making choices. This book follows several marriages and families, and these themes proved themselves to be very important and essential in Anna Karenina.

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"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Tolstoy begins the book with this line, which basically encompasses these ideas. However, Tolstoy tries to pack in many different, and unimportant themes also. Themes dealing with communism, agriculture, religion, and aristocracy. The effect this has on the book is to overwhelm the reader and detract from the impact of his major themes. He tried to use his books as a persuasive tool in things such as government and politics, all though these things have no importance in a novel about love in marriage. It's clear that Tolstoy had a lot to say, but perhaps he should have just written two books, and left the political and personal candor apart from this one.


The plot of Anna Karenina was suspenseful, but also difficult to follow and retain at times. Because Tolstoy had such a clear and detailed writing style he often pursued the specifics of insignificant objects and events, taking the plot on detours to what often proved to be dull episodes. Anna Karenina followed the life of a socialite who leaves her husband and child for a young count. The plot involving Anna was very well written and entertaining. However, Tolstoy explored plots with other characters which were very dreary and monotonous .Had Tolstoy focused more on Anna, the plot would have been better. There were also certain times when Tolstoy could have, during the book, ended. For example, there were nearly three hundred pages leading up to a point in the book where Anna leaves her family, this section had a great plot, with a incline, climax and short decline. He could have ended the book then and it would have been great. He did this several times, which is discouraging to the reader. It is hard to continue reading a book whose plot is, seemingly, never-ending.


Language theme and plot are the main elements that are necessary for a book to be great, those elements must all be good. Anna Karenina has defects in all three of these areas. Tolstoy was a brilliant Author, with much to say. But sometimes, it's easier to hear the whisper than the wind. It would have been more enjoyable if Tolstoy had tried to do a little less. Tolstoy introduced many things that seemed awkward and confusing. Tolstoy, although a great writer, should have been a little more cautious what was within his limitations, and made better choices about what to say in Anna Karenina. Anna Karenina was a good book despite its problems in language, theme, and plot, but it is easy to envision a great book without them

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