Anna Karenina's Transformation
Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jul 04, 2004
Anna Karenina is a novel rich in characters, emotion, and nineteenth century Russian culture. Through his precise and Lyric prose, Leo Tolstoy paints a detailed picture of the Russian aristocracy’s life: the frivolity and excess most partake of in the city and the calm and serene family life a few pursue in the country. Tolstoy’s Epic discusses everything from views on religion to human morality. Woven through all of this description and discussion is the tale of Anna Karenina and her lover, Aleksey Vronsky. Tolsty details Anna’s frightening journey from a poised and enthralling socialite to a desperate and broken women. Anna Karinina follows Anna as her life falls apart and she descends from a position of privilege and beauty to one of despair and isolation, yet Anna remains a sympathetic character to the reader until the end.
In the beginning of the novel, Anna is a woman of society, cultured and refined, to whom both the characters of the novel and the reader are immediately drawn. In her first appearance in the novel, she is described as having an, “elegance and modest grace that [is] apparent in her whole figure” (72). Vronksy, has at first, “a vague recollection of something stiff and tedious [emotion] evoked by the name Karenina” (69), and yet he is immediately taken by Anna, thinking that she is, “very charming” (75). Vronsky too is a man of society, a man who has learned to be unaffected by a women’s charms. However, Anna breezes through these defenses in a moment, and Vronsky finds himself, “delighted [by Anna], as though at something special”(69), and falls deeply in love with her. Immediately upon meeting Anna, Vronsky finds her irresistible.
Anna’s attractiveness is not just apparent to men. Kitty too finds herself, “in love with [Anna], as young girls do fall in love with older and married women”(84). At the ball the two women attend, Kitty comments how Anna’s appearance in an understated black dress is, “simple, natural, elegant, and at the same time gay and animated.” (92). Anna is “enchanting”(96), and the men and women in the novel both fall under the spell of her beauty, self-confidence, and poise.
The reader also falls in love with Anna, due to both her beauty, and her sympathetic nature. After Dolly learns of her husband’s infidelity Anna comes to act as a mediator. Dolly is immensely upset, but Anna is able to soothe...