Anna Karenina

Good Essays
Topics: Marriage
Anna Karenina Leeann Ho
In Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the central character, Anna Karenina, is internally conflicted by the differing directions of her obligations and desires. Her chief obligation is to be a dutiful wife and mother to her husband, Alexei Karenin, and her son, Seryozha. Her commitment to this obligation is tested when she meets the young Count Vronsky and falls in love. This turns into an affair that tears Anna’s conscience apart. In the end Anna has to choose between duty and love, and the process that leads up to her choice is especially painful for her. Despite the fact that Anna commits adultery, her character is pure of heart and sincere. She hated herself for living a life of lies and deceit, and this ultimately led to her decision to abandon her husband and son, who she loved especially. Her heart would not allow her to continue living without feeling. She also hated the fact that although her husband knew about her infidelity, he was only concerned that she keep up an impression of propriety. Her husband on the other hand saw himself as her only hope of salvation. He wanted to steer her back to the road of moral rightness and considered this his duty, and he was a man of duty. Anna herself was very distressed about the moral wrongness of her actions, but she was a woman who followed her heart mostly. She could not live in unhappiness. Count Vronsky represented to Anna not just love and happiness, but a new life of independence. She was bored of being an obedient housewife, and Vronsky was a man of energy. Choosing to be Vronsky’s companion not only ostracized Anna from her family, but also from society. As a woman of high society and good upbringing, Anna’s whole life was shaped by the society. As soon as her scandal was official publically, she was cast down by her old society friends and acquaintances as a

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Anna Karenina

    • 927 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Leo Tolstoy hints at the imminent failure of Vronsky and Anna’s affair early on in Anna Karenina, long before their relationship begins to deteriorate. If examined closely, their fate becomes obvious during the steeplechase in Book Two. Vronsky races in the competition on his impressive new racehorse, Frou-Frou, who symbolizes Anna in this elaborate metaphor. Frou-Frou parallels Anna in virtually every aspect of this event and, ultimately, both of these stunning creatures are ruined by Vronsky’s…

    • 927 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Anna Karenina

    • 703 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Anna Karenina “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Just as the famous quote goes, Tolstoy brought me back to the Russian society in the 19th century, leading me to ponder over the meaning of love, family, ethics, religion, as for the whole life. Anna Karenina is perhaps one of the greatest novels of all times. Anna shone like a bright light in Petersburg society and was admired by everyone. But she was married to the dull, cold Alexei Karenin, a…

    • 703 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Anna Karenina

    • 1618 Words
    • 7 Pages

    contentment. In Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Anna’s life is spiritually empty, and so she fills it with earthly pleasures (such as adultery) to fill the void. Levin, the other protagonist, also feels throughout the story as though something is missing in his life, but ends up actually discovering what will maintain his happiness in the long run. A main theme in the book is whether or not it is possible to preserve a happy life in a healthy way. Both characters, Anna and Levin, demonstrate how and…

    • 1618 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anna Karenina - Essay

    • 536 Words
    • 3 Pages

    the greatest love story ever written. First published in serial form from 1873 to 1877, Anna Karenina created quite a stir in Russian society. The overall reaction was positive and passionate, and with the novel being published right after Tolstoy's magnus opus, War and Peace, it officially confirmed his reputation as one of Russia's most important writers. Two plots run side by side in Anna Karenina. The first is that of Levin, a landowner and country man who comes to the city to propose to…

    • 536 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Faminism in Anna Karenina

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In the closing chapters of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (Penguin Books, 2003), Dolly, Anna’s sister-in-law, reveals that “Whatever way one lives, there’s a penalty.” This is the central message in Tolstoy’s work, a tragedy whose themes include aristocracy, faith, hypocrisy, love, marriage, family, infidelity, greed, and every other issue prevalent among human beings. Anna Karenina is a tragic figure, but she can also be considered a feminist one. Her experiences resonate with female readers because…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anna Karenina Review

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Throughout the months of December and January, cinemas across the country will be screening the newest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. The novel has previously been made into ballets, films, operas, musicals, and television movies. Because the novel is a tale of a love, adultery and societal pressures in Imperial Russia, famous British actors were chosen to play to prestigious main roles in the movie. Although the movie provides beautifully setting, choreography, and costume, keeping…

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" is the opening statement in the novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Although the reader does not know whom "I" refers to in the statement, he can be certain that someone will pay for whatever act has been committed. Thus far in the novel, many motifs have emerged that could lead the speaker to want vengeance. The most important of these is the motif of infidelity. From the very first page of the novel, the motif of infidelity has been present. Infidelity has…

    • 407 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anna Karenina Quotes

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Further within Anna Karenina The causes and effects of human interaction have been examined and questioned throughout all eras. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is a reliable representation of life in 1860’s Russia. Tolstoy created complicated relations between his characters. Throughout the novel, situations occurred between husband and wife, relatives, secret lovers, and quick acquaintances that are strung together in an intricate web of truths, lies, and love. Social standards play a key role as…

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anna Karenina Evaluation

    • 670 Words
    • 3 Pages

    to make use of Anna Karenina’s minor characters to create new themes in the novel. First, in the theme of love, he pairs up Levin’s brother Sergei with Kitty’s old friend Varenka. Second, he uses Veslovsky’s character to show how he affects Levin’s tendencies towards his relationship with Kitty. Veslovsky is perceived in Book 6 as someone who is always trying to ruin the moment for Levin and Kitty. Furthermore, we can also see in Book 6 how Tolstoy compares the personal life of Anna and Dolly. He…

    • 670 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Anna Karenina Study Notes

    • 11225 Words
    • 45 Pages

    Anna Karenina Context Lev (Leo) Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born into a large and wealthy Russian landowning family in 1828, on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy’s mother died when he was only two years old, and he idealized her memory throughout his life. Some critics speculate that the early loss of his mother colors Tolstoy’s portrayal of the young Seryozha in Anna Karenina. When Tolstoy was nine, the family moved to Moscow. Shortly afterward his father died, murdered while traveling…

    • 11225 Words
    • 45 Pages
    Better Essays