Anna Karenina: Variety of Depictions of the Peasantry Class

Topics: Anna Karenina, Novel, Working class Pages: 2 (561 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Through the acclaimed novel Anna Karenina, the audience experiences a variety of depictions towards the peasantry class. These interpretations are shown in Anna Karenina, through the characters Levin and his brother Nikolai. As stated in the Russian review, written by Alexandra Tolstoy, the audience is shown the opinion Tolstoy had towards these particular people. “Peasants were the real people- those who work with their hands and feed the world with what they produce” we learn through this article that despite all-else, he shared a love and an extraordinary interest. “(Tolstoy) is attached to the peasantry as to a woman expecting a child.”

This novel is based on the historical events that were taking place in Russia in the 19th century; readers go through extensive passages in the novel devoted to Levin and farming. In the 19th century, many believed that farmers and shepherds were more fulfilled and happy than their urban counterparts, showing closeness to the soil as a mark of the good life. “Farmers understand growth and potential, and are aware of the delicate balance between personal labor and trust in the forces of nature.” Through Levin, Tolstoy depicts the peasantry as everyday people. Levin feels they are neither different nor special to any other person from any other class. “He became furious with them for their carelessness, slovenliness, drunkenness and lying.” People from the higher society viewed the country as a place of leisure and peace, whereas Levin saw is as a place of labor, he had a close familiarity with the peasants “considering himself part of the peasantry… and could not contrast himself to them,” making him critical of them at times. “ He loved and did not love the peasantry.”

Another opposing observation of the Russian peasantry was Levin’s brother, Sergei Ivanovich. Ivanovich “loved and praised country life in contrast to the life he did not love” so therefore he loved the peasantry in contrast to the class of people he did...
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