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Anna Karenina Summary and Analysis of Part Three their strengths and therefore cannot idealize them or their role in the labor market. the only option is to force Anna to break off relations with Vronsky and stay with him. Anna, Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, née Oblonskaya. The old countess Vronskaya, Vronsky's bossy mother and Vronsky's brother Alexander. Is there really an incestuous relationship in War and Peace? .. person he cares about, but he's got an extensive criminal record and works in the black market. Anna Karenina couldn't be less like a conventional modern novel. moment doesn't necessarily have a direct connection to the way that person acts Anna, Vronsky and Levin are in their early 30s, young in today's terms, but and sex with non-threatening women, infantalised by fashion and marketing.
To Tolstoy the city is a static, artificial place. It is as if he does not believe cities are permanent, as though he feels that if he ignores them, they'll go away.
It turns out that everything Tolstoy cares about, everything he describes taking place outside the character's heads, is alive and moving, in the non-human world of dogs and horses and leaves as in the human world.
No human action is too small to be recorded: Karenin's knuckle-cracking, Anna screwing up her eyes, Vronsky touching the ends of his moustache. The characters are always smiling, frowning, blushing, twitching, fidgeting, touching, kissing, bowing, sobbing, and deconstructing these signs in each other. They come to us alive with intentionality, describing themselves in movement, waltzing through the ballroom, trudging through the marsh after wildfowl, racing horses, cutting hay.
As busily as Tolstoy's creations move through space, so plausibly they move through time. How hard it is in narrative fiction, be it novel or film, to represent the chaotic reality of the passage of time, when the way a person acts or thinks one moment doesn't necessarily have a direct connection to the way that person acts or thinks 10 minutes later, or the next day, or for the rest of their life. No other novelist I can think of takes the risks Tolstoy does with the readers' understanding of what his characters are by allowing the characters to be so true to the emotions of each particular moment, even when those emotions contradict the overall portrait.
The most odious characters are never beyond momentary redemption, and the most admirable characters must endure patches of vileness. Yet Tolstoy doesn't spare Levin, the character with whom he is most in sympathy. When Levin is out shooting with a friend at dusk and summons the courage to ask after Kitty, the young woman he loves but who turned down his offer of marriage, he learns that she's still free and is seriously ill.
At this moment of high drama and revelation, two woodcocks fly over, and he forgets about Kitty in the excitement of shooting the birds.
It's not attractive for Levin to feel this schadenfreude towards the woman he wants to share his life with, or to have the overflight of a small game bird blot out all thoughts of her just when he's heard she might be dying. But Tolstoy has the confidence to relay these secret moments of unlove, certain — rightly — that by being true to his weakness in one particular instant in time he will make Levin more real and human without poisoning the instants of time to come, when Levin will show himself more like the man he wants to be.
All Tolstoy's mastery of time, space and language come together in a single moment in the middle of the book, when Anna's estranged husband Alexei Karenin, a dry, stiff government minister, and her lover Vronsky, a handsome young cavalry officer, meet beside the bed where Anna lies gravely ill after giving birth to Vronsky's child.
Grief-stricken and ashamed, Vronsky is covering his face with his hands; Anna orders her husband, who is also weeping, to pull the hands away and expose her lover's face. With that gesture, Anna effects a reversal in the status of the two men.
Vronsky, who had despised Karenin because he wouldn't fight a duel, is now humiliated and dishonoured; Karenin, flooded with forgiveness for everyone, wins back Anna's respect.
In that moment of time, with Anna seemingly dying, the transformation is quite real. But time shifts, and the old reality comes back. Anna gets better and hates Karenin more than ever for his forgiveness.
Vronsky restores his honour by shooting himself he misses. The arc of Anna's destruction resumes. In the novel there are no turning points, only points, and characters travelling through them.
For a spacious novel so concerned with families there's a mysterious absence at the heart of Anna Karenina. The heroine has no childhood. She comes equipped with a son, a dull older husband, a brother, friends, a place in high society, but no past, no younger self. There is no description of how she came to be married. Her parents are, presumably, dead, and are never mentioned. She is fully formed, ready to fall in love with the dashing Vronsky. It's not just Anna. Most of the other principal characters have no forebears on the scene.
Levin was, like Tolstoy, orphaned at an early age. Vronsky's mother is occasionally present but when we first encounter him Tolstoy quickly tells us: And the novel is about children in a deeper way, one that speaks to the stretched-out generations of the rich world now, where people in their 20s, 30s and 40s expect to have parents who are still alive and constantly reassure each other that they are young — that they are, in effect, still children. Anna, Vronsky and Levin are in their early 30s, young in today's terms, but Tolstoy doesn't provide them with an earlier generation to backstop them, or to be remembered.
They are obliged to stand independently as grown men and women. This means following an existing set of social rules, like Vronsky "One must pay one's gambling debts, but need not pay one's tailor; one must not tell a man a lie, but one may lie to a woman"or breaking rules, as Anna does, or inventing their own set of rules, as Levin tries to do.
'Anna Karenina' and modern marriage - Openforum - Openforum
They can have children — they should, in Tolstoy's view, have children — but they cannot be children. However, among the principal characters, there is an intriguing exception: Part 4[ edit ] When Anna and Vronsky continue seeing each other, Karenin consults with a lawyer about obtaining a divorce.
During the time period, a divorce in Russia could only be requested by the innocent party in an affair and required either that the guilty party confessed—which would ruin Anna's position in society and bar her from remarrying in the Orthodox Church—or that the guilty party be discovered in the act of adultery.
Karenin forces Anna to hand over some of Vronsky's love letters, which the lawyer deems insufficient as proof of the affair. Stiva and Dolly argue against Karenin's drive for a divorce. Karenin changes his plans after hearing that Anna is dying after the difficult birth of her daughter, Annie. At her bedside, Karenin forgives Vronsky.
However, Vronsky, embarrassed by Karenin's magnanimityunsuccessfully attempts suicide by shooting himself. As Anna recovers, she finds that she cannot bear living with Karenin despite his forgiveness and his attachment to Annie. When she hears that Vronsky is about to leave for a military posting in Tashkentshe becomes desperate. Anna and Vronsky reunite and elope to Europe, leaving Seryozha and Karenin's offer of divorce.
Meanwhile, Stiva acts as a matchmaker with Levin: Part 5[ edit ] Levin and Kitty marry and start their new life on his country estate. Although the couple are happy, they undergo a bitter and stressful first three months of marriage. Levin feels dissatisfied at the amount of time Kitty wants to spend with him and dwells on his inability to be as productive as he was as a bachelor.
ANNA KARENINA Review
When the marriage starts to improve, Levin learns that his brother, Nikolai, is dying of consumption. Kitty offers to accompany Levin on his journey to see Nikolai and proves herself a great help in nursing Nikolai. Seeing his wife take charge of the situation in an infinitely more capable manner than he could have done himself without her, Levin's love for Kitty grows.
Kitty eventually learns that she is pregnant. In Europe, Vronsky and Anna struggle to find friends who will accept them. Whilst Anna is happy to be finally alone with Vronsky, he feels suffocated. They cannot socialize with Russians of their own class and find it difficult to amuse themselves. Vronsky, who believed that being with Anna was the key to his happiness, finds himself increasingly bored and unsatisfied.
However, Vronsky cannot see that his own art lacks talent and passion, and that his conversation about art is extremely pretentious. Increasingly restless, Anna and Vronsky decide to return to Russia.
- James Meek: rereading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- ‘Anna Karenina’ and modern marriage
- The Who’s Who of Anna Karenina
Petersburg, Anna and Vronsky stay in one of the best hotels, but take separate suites. It becomes clear that whilst Vronsky is still able to move freely in Russian society, Anna is barred from it. Even her old friend, Princess Betsy, who has had affairs herself, evades her company. Anna starts to become anxious that Vronsky no longer loves her. Meanwhile, Karenin is comforted by Countess Lidia Ivanovna, an enthusiast of religious and mystic ideas fashionable with the upper classes.
She advises him to keep Seryozha away from Anna and to tell him his mother is dead. However, Seryozha refuses to believe that this is true. Anna visits Seryozha uninvited on his ninth birthday but is discovered by Karenin.
Anna, desperate to regain at least some of her former position in society, attends a show at the theatre at which all of St. Petersburg's high society are present. Vronsky begs her not to go, but he is unable to bring himself to explain to her why she cannot attend. At the theatre, Anna is openly snubbed by her former friends, one of whom makes a deliberate scene and leaves the theatre.
Unable to find a place for themselves in St. Petersburg, Anna and Vronsky leave for Vronsky's own country estate. Part 6[ edit ] Dolly, her mother the Princess Scherbatskaya, and Dolly's children spend the summer with Levin and Kitty. The Levins' life is simple and unaffected, although Levin is uneasy at the "invasion" of so many Scherbatskys. He becomes extremely jealous when one of the visitors, Veslovsky, flirts openly with the pregnant Kitty.
Levin tries to overcome his jealousy, and briefly succeeds during a hunt with Veslovsky and Oblonsky, but eventually succumbs to his feelings and orders Veslovsky to leave in an embarrassing scene.
Veslovsky immediately goes to stay with Anna and Vronsky at their nearby estate. When Dolly visits Anna, she is struck by the difference between the Levins' aristocratic-yet-simple home life and Vronsky's overtly luxurious and lavish country estate. She is also unable to keep pace with Anna's fashionable dresses or Vronsky's extravagant spending on a hospital he is building.
In addition, all is not quite well with Anna and Vronsky. Dolly notices Anna's anxious behaviour and her uncomfortable flirtations with Veslovsky. Vronsky makes an emotional request to Dolly, asking her to convince Anna to divorce Karenin so that the two might marry and live normally.
Anna has become intensely jealous of Vronsky and cannot bear it when he leaves her even for short excursions. When Vronsky leaves for several days of provincial elections, Anna becomes convinced that she must marry him to prevent him from leaving her. After Anna writes to Karenin, she and Vronsky leave the countryside for Moscow. Part 7[ edit ] While visiting Moscow for Kitty's confinement, Levin quickly gets used to the city's fast-paced, expensive and frivolous society life.
He accompanies Stiva to a gentleman's clubwhere the two meet Vronsky. Levin and Stiva pay a visit to Anna, who is occupying her empty days by being a patroness to an orphaned English girl. Levin is initially uneasy about the visit, but Anna easily puts him under her spell.
When he admits to Kitty that he has visited Anna, she accuses him of falling in love with her. The couple are later reconciled, realising that Moscow society life has had a negative, corrupting effect on Levin. Anna cannot understand why she can attract a man like Levin, who has a young and beautiful new wife, but can no longer attract Vronsky. Her relationship with Vronsky is under increasing strain, because he can move freely in Russian society while she remains excluded.
Her increasing bitterness, boredom, and jealousy cause the couple to argue. Anna uses morphine to help her sleep, a habit she began while living with Vronsky at his country estate. She has become dependent on it. Meanwhile, after a long and difficult labour, Kitty gives birth to a son, Dmitri, nicknamed "Mitya". Levin is both horrified and profoundly moved by the sight of the tiny, helpless baby.
Stiva visits Karenin to seek his commendation for a new post. During the visit, Stiva asks Karenin to grant Anna a divorce which would require him to confess to a non-existent affairbut Karenin's decisions are now governed by a French " clairvoyant " recommended by Lidia Ivanovna. The clairvoyant apparently had a vision in his sleep during Stiva's visit and gives Karenin a cryptic message that he interprets in a way such that he must decline the request for divorce.
Two love stories: Anna & Vronsky vs. Levin & Kitty | youngfiction21
Anna becomes increasingly jealous and irrational towards Vronsky, whom she suspects of having love affairs with other women.
She is also convinced that he will give in to his mother's plans to marry him off to a rich society woman. They have a bitter row and Anna believes the relationship is over. She starts to think of suicide as an escape from her torments. In her mental and emotional confusion, she sends a telegram to Vronsky asking him to come home to her, and then pays a visit to Dolly and Kitty.
Anna's confusion and anger overcome her and, in a parallel to the railway worker's accidental death in Part 1, she commits suicide by throwing herself under the carriage of a passing train. Part 8[ edit ] Sergei Ivanovich's Levin's brother latest book is ignored by readers and critics and he joins the new pan-Slavic movement.
Stiva gets the post he desired so much, and Karenin takes custody of Vronsky and Anna's baby, Annie. A group of Russian volunteers, including the suicidal Vronsky, depart from Russia to fight in the Orthodox Serbian revolt that has broken out against the Turks. A lightning storm occurs at Levin's estate while his wife and newborn son are outdoors and, in his fear for their safety, Levin realizes that he does indeed love his son as much as he loves Kitty.
Kitty's family is concerned that a man as altruistic as her husband does not consider himself to be a Christian. After speaking at length to a peasant, Levin has a true change of heart, concluding that he does believe in the Christian principles taught to him in childhood and no longer questions his faith.
He realizes that one must decide for oneself what is acceptable concerning one's own faith and beliefs. He chooses not to tell Kitty of the change that he has undergone.
Levin is initially displeased that his return to his faith does not bring with it a complete transformation to righteousness. However, at the end of the story, Levin arrives at the conclusion that despite his newly accepted beliefs, he is human and will go on making mistakes.
His life can now be meaningfully and truthfully oriented toward righteousness. Style and major themes[ edit ] Tolstoy's style in Anna Karenina is considered by many critics to be transitional, forming a bridge between the realist and modernist novel. The galleys of Anna Karenina for the April issue of Russkij Vestnik now lie on my table, and I really don't have the heart to correct them.
Everything in them is so rotten, and the whole thing should be rewritten -- all that has been printed too -- scrapped, and melted down, thrown away, renouncedJI Moreover, according to W.
These contemporary developments are hotly debated by the characters in the novel. Revised by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova New York: