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Anna Karenina

Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jul 04, 2004

Leo Tolstoy's novel, Anna Karenina, upon its release received a mix critical reception, with Russian critics either condemningor applauding the novel primarily on its views of Russian society. Thematically, the novel parallels its heroine's, Anna Karenina,moral and social conflicts with Constantin Levin's internal struggle to find the meaning of life. There are many others underlying themes which links the novel as a whole, yet many critics at the time only looked upon its critical view of Russian life. Henry James called Tolstoy's novels as "loose and baggy monsters' of stylessness, but Tolstoy stated of Anna Karenina ".....I am very proud of its architecture--its vaults are joined so that one cannot even notice where the keystone is." That is absolutely correct, because within Anna Karenina, there exists many themes that are all linked together to create such a wonderful piece of work. Critics tend to miss the role that the theme of life and death plays in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Despite its apparent meanings, these two themes are intertwined in the novel and provides a backbone for some of the other existing themes. With a masterful touch, Tolstoy is able to use these two themes to show the characters in their true forms at both stages. The characters are shown to be living in a state of delusion, and as the characters find themselves at times of near death situations or on their deathbed, they are able to reveal themselves truthfully.

Many of the characters in the novel are able to show their "real self" and at times of death, there is a point of reversal in thecharacters. This is most evident in the scene of Anna's near death experience during her illness. This event brings about a change in
Karenin and even Vronsky as they trade positions. Karenin suddenly becomes human and not hidden from life by his administrative regulations. His carapace cracks, and he becomes drunk with sympathy, dazzled by his own generosity. Death for Karenin becomes the basic truth which makes him___ a living human being capable of love. While on the other hand, Vronsky takes on the role of Karenin, he is unable to deal with Anna's deathbed crisis and even goes as far as attempting to suicide. This awareness of life-in-death provides the climax of the novel, with the main characters perceiving the truth from theheights of their emotional intensity. Hate and...

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Uploaded by:   Gotskillz

Date:   07/04/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,350 words)

Views:   8772

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