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Mar 11, Anna Karenina PDF eBooks include the most elegant usage of typography and are ready to Google Play Books (Android); iBooks (iOS). Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as 'flawless,' Anna Karenina tells of the. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Adobe PDF icon. Download this document as a. pdf: File size: MB What's this? light bulb Part 21 · Part 22 · Book of the day.
He cannot be accused of being a poor husband or father, but he shows little tenderness toward his wife, Anna, or his son, Seryozha. He fulfills these family roles as he does other duties on his list of social obligations. Karenins primary motivation in both his career and his personal life is self-preservation. When he unexpectedly forgives Anna on what he believes may be her deathbed, we see a hint of a deeper Karenin ready to emerge.
Ultimately, however, the bland bureaucrat remains the only Karenin we know. Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky - A wealthy and dashing military officer whose love for Anna prompts her to desert her husband and son.
Vronsky is passionate and caring toward Anna but clearly disappointed when their affair forces him to give up his dreams of career advancement.
Vronsky, whom Tolstoy originally modeled on the Romantic heroes of an earlier age of literature, has something of the idealistic loner in him.
Yet there is a dark spot at the core of his personality, as if Tolstoy refuses to let us get too close to Vronskys true nature. Indeed, Tolstoy gives us far less access to Vronskys thoughts than to other major characters in the novel. We can never quite forget Vronskys early jilting of Kitty Shcherbatskaya, and we wonder whether he feels guilt about nearly ruining her life.
Even so, Vronsky is more saintly than demonic at the end of the novel, and his treatment of Anna is impeccable, even if his feelings toward her cool a bit. Konstantin Dmitrich Levin - A socially awkward but generous-hearted landowner who, along with Anna, is the co-protagonist of the novel. Whereas Annas pursuit of love ends in tragedy, Levins long courtship of Kitty Shcherbatskaya ultimately ends in a happy marriage. Levin is intellectual and philosophical but applies his thinking to practical matters such as agriculture.
He aims to be sincere and productive in whatever he does, and resigns from his post in local government because he sees it as useless and bureaucratic. Levin is a figurehead in the novel for Tolstoy himself, who modeled Levin and Kittys courtship on his own marriage.
Levins declaration of faith at the end of the novel sums up Tolstoys own convictions, marking the start of the deeply religious phase of Tolstoys life that followed his completion of Anna Karenina. Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya Kitty - A beautiful young woman who is courted by both Levin and Vronsky, and who ultimately marries Levin.
Modeled on Tolstoys real-life wife, Kitty is sensitive and perhaps a bit overprotected, shocked by some of the crude realities of life, as we see in her horrified response to Levins private diaries. But despite her indifference to intellectual matters, Kitty displays great courage and compassion in the face of death when caring for Levins dying brother Nikolai.
Stepan Arkadyich Oblonsky Stiva - Annas brother, a pleasure-loving aristocrat and minor government official whose affair with his childrens governess nearly destroys his marriage. Stiva and Anna share a common tendency to place personal fulfillment over social duties. Stiva is incorrigible, proceeding from his affair with the governesswhich his wife, Dolly, honorably forgivesto a liaison with a ballerina.
For Tolstoy, Stivas moral laxity symbolizes the corruptions of big-city St. Petersburg life and contrasts with the powerful moral conscience of Levin. However, despite his transgressions, the affable Stiva is a difficult character to scorn. Dolly is one of the few people who behave kindly toward Anna after her affair becomes public.
Dollys sympathetic response to Annas situation and her guarded admiration for Annas attempt to live her life fully hint at the positive aspects of Annas experience. Well acquainted with the hardships of matrimony and motherhood, Dolly is, more than anyone else in the novel, in a position to appreciate what Anna has left behind by leaving with Vronsky. The novel opens with the painful revelation that Dollys husband has betrayed her, and her even more painful awareness that he is not very repentant.
Seryozha is a goodnatured boy, but his father treats him coldly after learning of Annas affair.
Anna shows her devotion to Seryozha when she risks everything to sneak back into the Karenin household simply to bring birthday presents to her son. Nikolai Dmitrich Levin - Levins sickly, thin brother. The freethinking Nikolai is largely estranged from his brothers, but over the course of the novel he starts to spend more time with Levin.
Nikolai is representative of liberal social thought among certain Russian intellectuals of the period; his reformed-prostitute girlfriend, Marya Nikolaevna, is living proof of his unconventional, radically democratic viewpoint.
Sergei Ivanovich Koznyshev - Levins half-brother, a famed intellectual and writer whose thinking Levin has difficulty following. Koznyshev embodies cold intellectualism and is unable to embrace the fullness of life, as we see when he cannot bring himself to propose to Varenka.
Agafya Mikhailovna - Levins former nurse, now his trusted housekeeper. Countess Vronsky - Vronskys judgmental mother. Alexander Kirillovich Vronsky - Vronskys brother. Varvara Vronsky - Alexander Vronskys wife. Prince Shcherbatsky favors Levin over Vronsky as a potential husband for Kitty. Princess Shcherbatskaya - Kitty, Dolly, and Natalies mother. Princess Shcherbatskaya initially urges Kitty to favor Vronsky over Levin as a suitor.
Countess Lydia Ivanovna - A morally upright woman who is initially Annas friend and later her fiercest critic. Hypocritically, the religious Lydia Ivanovna cannot bring herself to forgive or even to speak to the fallen woman Anna.
Lydia Ivanovna harbors a secret love for Karenin, and induces him to believe in and rely on psychics. Betsy has a reputation for wild living and moral looseness.
Marya Nikolaevna - A former prostitute saved by Nikolai Levin, whose companion she becomes. Madame Stahl - A seemingly devout invalid woman whom the Shcherbatskys meet at a German spa. Madame Stahl appears righteous and pious, but Prince Shcherbatsky and others doubt her motivations. Varvara Andreevna Varenka - A pure and high-minded young woman who becomes Kittys friend at the German spa. Varenka, who is a protge of Madame Stahl, nearly receives a marriage proposal from Koznyshev.
Yashvin - Vronskys wild friend from the army. Yashvin has a propensity for losing large sums of money at gambling. Nikolai Ivanovich Sviyazhsky - A friend of Levin who lives in a far-off province. Fyodor Vassilyevich Katavasov - Levins intellectual friend from his university days. Vasenka Veslovsky - A young, pleasant, somewhat dandyish man whom Stiva brings to visit Levin. The attentions Veslovsky lavishes on Kitty make Levin jealous. Landau - A French psychic who instructs Karenin to reject Annas plea for a divorce.
Analysis of Major Characters Anna Karenina One of two main protagonists in the novel the other being Konstantin Levin , Anna is the beautiful, passionate, and educated wife of Alexei Karenin, a cold and passionless government official. Her character is rich in complexity: she is guilty of desecrating her marriage and home, for instance, but she remains noble and admirable nonetheless.
Anna is intelligent and literate, a reader of English novels and a writer of childrens books. She is elegant, always understated in her dress. Her many years with Karenin show her capable of playing the role of cultivated, beautiful, society wife and hostess with great poise and grace. She is very nearly the ideal aristocratic Russian wife of the s. Among Anna's most prominent qualities are her passionate spirit and determination to live life on her own terms.
She is a feminist heroine of sorts. Though disgraced, she dares to face St. Petersburg high society and refuses the exile to which she has been condemned, attending the opera when she knows very well she will meet with nothing but scorn and derision.
Anna is a martyr to the old-fashioned Russian patriarchal system and its double standard for male and female adultery. Her brother, Stiva, is far looser in his morals but is never even chastised for his womanizing, whereas Anna is sentenced to social exile and suicide. Moreover, Anna is deeply devoted to her family and children, as we see when she sneaks back into her former home to visit her son on his birthday.
Annas refusal to lose Seryozha is the only reason she refuses Karenins offer of divorce, even though this divorce would give her freedom. The governing principle of Annas life is that love is stronger than anything, even duty. She remains powerfully committed to this principle. She rejects Karenins request that she stay with him simply to maintain outward appearances of an intact marriage and family.
In the later stages of her relationship with Vronsky, Anna worries most that he no longer loves her but remains with her out of duty only.
Her exile from civilized society in the later part of the novel is a symbolic rejection of all the social conventions we normally accept dutifully. She insists on following her heart alone. As a result, Anna contrasts with with the ideal of living for God and goodness that Levin embraces in the last chapter, and she appears self-centered by comparison.
Even so, Annas insistence on living according to the dictates of her heart makes her a pioneer, a woman searching for autonomy and passion in a male-dominated society. Konstantin Levin Though Anna Karenina gives the novel its name, Levin acts as the novel's co-protagonist, as central to the story as Anna herself.
Many critics read Levin as a veiled self-portrait of the author: his name includes Tolstoys first name Lev in Russian , and many of the details of his courtship of Kittyincluding the missing shirt at the weddingwere taken straight from Tolstoys life. Most notably, Levins confession of faith at the end of the novel parallels Tolstoys turning to religion after writing Anna Karenina.
Independent-minded and socially awkward, Levin is a truly individual character who fits into none of the obvious classifications of Russian society. He is neither a freethinking rebel like his brother Nikolai, nor a bookish intellectual like his half-brother Sergei. He is not a socialite like Betsy, nor a bureaucrat like Karenin, nor a rogue like Veslovsky. Levin straddles the issue of Russias fate as a western nation: he distrusts liberals who wish to westernize Russia, rejecting their analytical and abstract approach, but on the other hand he recognizes the utility of western technology and agricultural science.
In short, Levin is his own person. He follows his own vision of things, even when it is confused and foggy, rather than adopting any groups prefabricated views.
Moreover, Levin prefers isolation over fitting in with a social set with which he is not wholly comfortable. In this he resembles Anna, whose story is a counterpart to his own in its search for self-definition and individual happiness. Despite his status as a loner, Levin is not self-centered, and he shows no signs of viewing himself as exceptional or superior. If Tolstoy makes Levin a hero in the novel, his heroism is not in his unique achievements but in his ability to savor common human experiences.
His most unforgettable experiences in the novelhis bliss at being in love, his fear for his wife in childbirthare not rare or aristocratic but shared by millions. Anyone can feel these emotions; Levin is special simply in feeling them so deeply and openly.
This commonality gives him a humanitarian breadth that no other character in the novel displays. His comfort with his peasants and his loathing of social pretension characterize him as an ordinary man, one of the Russian people despite his aristocratic lineage.
When Levin mows for an entire day alongside his peasants, we get no sense that he is deliberately slumming with the commonershe sincerely enjoys the labor.
Tolstoys representation of Levins final discovery of faith, which he learns from a peasant, is equally ordinary. In this regard, Levin incarnates the simple virtues of life and Tolstoys vision of a model human being. Alexei Karenin A government official with little personality of his own, Karenin maintains the faade of a cultivated and rational man.
He keeps up with contemporary poetry, reads books on Roman history for leisure, and makes appearances at all the right parties. He is civil to everyone and makes no waves. But he remains a bland bureaucrat whose personality has disappeared under years of devotion to his duties. Though he reads poetry, he rarely has a poetic thought; he reads history but never reflects on it meaningfully. He does not enjoy himself or spark conversations at parties but merely makes himself seen and then leaves.
Karenins entire existence consists of professional obligations, with little room for personal whim or passion. When first made aware of Annas liaison with Vronsky, Karenin briefly entertains thoughts of challenging Vronsky to a duel but quickly abandons the idea when he imagines a pistol pointed his direction. This cowardice indicates his general resistance to a life of fervent emotion and grand passions. Karenins limp dispassion colors his home life and serves as the backdrop to Annas rebellious search for love at any price.
He viewed his betrothal to Anna, for instance, as an act of duty like everything else in his life: it was time to marry, so he chose an appropriate girl, who happened to be Anna. He never gives any indications of appreciating Annas uniqueness or valuing the ways in which she differs from other women.
His appreciation of her is only for her role as wife and mother. Similarly, Karenins fatherly interaction with Seryozha is cold and official, focused on educational progress and never on Seryozhas perceptions or emotions. Karenin wishes to raise a responsible child, as he surely was himself. It is Karenins obedience to duty, his pigeonholing of all persons and experiences as either appropriate or inappropriate, that Anna rejects. When Anna leaves, she does not simply dump Karenin the man but also the conventionalism that Karenin believes in and represents.
Karenins slide into occultism and stagnation at the end of the novel suggests indirectly how much he needed Anna, and how much she was the life behind his faade.
Alexei Vronsky The novel depicts Vronsky as a handsome, wealthy, and charming man who is as willing as Anna is to abandon social standing and professional status in pursuit of love.
His commitment to his hospital-building project also shows a Romantic passion for carrying out an individual vision of good. But the novel also shows Vronsky's many realistic faults and imperfections. His thinning hair, his error in judgment in the horse race, his thwarted ambitions of military glory all remind us that Vronsky is not a Romantic hero but a man like any other.
He does not symbolize escape from social pressures, for he suffers from these pressures himself. He may be an exceptional man, but he is only a man. This limitation in Vronsky provides Annas greatest disappointment in the novel: she yearns for a total escape into a love affair of unbounded passion, only to discover that Vronsky's passion has its limits.
Tolstoy gives Vronsky the same first name as Karenin, suggesting that Annas longing for another Alexei leads her to a disappointing repetition of her first relationship. Vronskys devotion to Anna appears to wane in the later chapters of the novel, but much of this appearance stems from Anna's paranoid fears that he has fallen out of love with her.
On the contrary, no indisputable evidence indicates that Vronsky loves Anna any less at the end. Certainly he cares for her more than ever: he outfits his country home luxuriously and elegantly, largely it seems in an attempt to make Anna happy.
His commissioning of Annas portrait and his prominent display of it in their home suggests that he is still enraptured by her. Vronsky occasionally feels the pang of thwarted ambition, especially after meeting his school chum who is now highly successful, but at no point does he hold Anna responsible for his failures. He accommodates her whims and endures her paranoid fits with patience. These actions may be mere solicitude or duty, as Anna calls iton Vronskys part, rather than true love.
But since the novel rarely shows us Vronskys thoughts as he shows us Annas, we simply cannot know for sure.
Stiva Oblonsky Stiva sets the novel in motion, not only in terms of plotas the domestic upheaval caused by his affair with the family's governess brings Anna to Moscow, and thus to Vronskybut also in terms of theme. Stiva embodies the notion that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, not repressed by duties.
He lives for the moment, thinking about responsibility only later, as his constant financial problems remind us. His dazed reaction to being chastised for adultery is not so much regret at his wrongdoing but rather regret at being caught. Indeed, even after Dolly forgives Stiva, he does not stop carrying on with other women.
He does not feel any duty toward his wife and family that constrains his freedom. Despite Stiva's actions, the novel does not portray him as exceptionally villainous. On the contrary, he represents an ordinary man in 19th century Russia. He is kind and jovial and genuinely loves his wife and family, yet he feels entitled to have sex with whomever he pleases. This apparent paradox in his character highlights the patriarchal nature of Russian society at the time.
Stiva is essentially free to enjoy himself, while his wife is expected to endure his affairs in good-natured silence. Stiva nonetheless hides his affairs because he recognizes that he has a duty to be faithful to his wife, however lightly heand societymay regard that duty.
Stiva's affair with his family's governess sets the stage for Annas much more dramatic struggle between private passion and social obligation. Like Anna, Stiva seeks out love and satisfaction in any way that is personally meaningful for him.
But the similarity ends there. Stiva is far shallower than his sister, and lacks her emotional self-reflection and passionate intensity. His love affairs are trifles to him, whereas Annas becomes a matter of life and death to her.
Stiva is not a dynamic character in the novelhe does not change. He is never punished for his sins and never improves his behavior. In short, Stivas constancy brings into relief the extraordinary changesmoral, spiritual, and psychologicalthat Anna undergoes. Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Russia Tolstoy sets his tale of adultery and self-discovery against the backdrop of the huge historical changes sweeping through Russia during the late nineteenth century, making the historical aspects of the novel just as important as the personal and psychological aspects.
In the Russia of Anna Karenina, a battle rages between the old patriarchal values sustaining the landowning aristocracy and the new, liberaloften called libre penseur, or freethinking, in the novel values of the Westernizers. The old-timer conservatives believe in traditions like serfdom and authoritarian government, while the Westernizing liberals believe in technology, rationalism, and democracy.
We see this clash in Levins difficulty with his peasants, who, refusing to accept the Western agricultural innovations he tries to introduce, believe that the old Russian ways of farming are the best. We also see the confusion of these changing times in the question of the zemstvo, or village council, in which Levin tries to participate as a proponent of democracy but which he finally abandons on the grounds that they are useless. The guests at Stivas dinner party raise the question of womens rightsclearly a hot topic of the day, and one that shows the influence of Western social progress on Russia.
That Dolly and Anna suffer in their marriages, however, does not bode well for the future of feminism in the world of the novel. Courtship procedures are equally uncertain in the world of Anna Karenina. The Russian tradition of arranged marriages is going out of fashion, but Princess Shcherbatskaya is horrified at the prospect of allowing Kitty to choose her own mate.
The narrator goes so far as to say plainly that no one knows how young people are to get married in Russia in the s. Taken together, all this confusion created by fading traditions creates an atmosphere of both instability and new potential, as if humans have to decide again how to live. It is only in such a changing atmosphere that Levins philosophical questionings are possible. The Blessings of Family Life Anna Karenina is in many ways a recognizable throwback to the genre of family novels popular in Russia several decades earlier, which were out of fashion by the s.
The Russian family novel portrayed the benefits and comforts of family togetherness and domestic bliss, often in a very idealized way. In the radically changing social climate of s Russia, many social progressives attacked the institution of the family, calling it a backward and outmoded limitation on individual freedom. They claimed that the family often exploited children as cheap labor. Anna Kareninajoins in this family debate. The first sentence of the novel, concerning the happiness and unhappiness of families, underscores the centrality of this idea.
While the novel takes a pro-family position in general, it is nonetheless candid about the difficulties of family life. The notion that a family limits the freedom of the individual is evident in Stivas dazed realization in the first pages of the novel that he cannot do whatever he pleases. This limitation of freedom is also evident in Levins surprise at the fact that he cannot go off to visit his dying brother on a whim but must confer with his wife first and respond to her insistence that she accompany him.
Yet despite these restrictions on personal liberty, and despite the quarrels that plague every family represented in Anna Karenina, the novel portrays family life as a source of comfort, happiness, and philosophical transcendence. Anna destroys a family and dies in misery, whereas Levin creates a family and concludes the novel happily.
Annas life ultimately loses meaning, whereas Levins attains it, as the last paragraph of the novel announces. Ultimately, Tolstoy leaves us with the conclusion that faith, happiness, and family life go hand in hand. The Philosophical Value of Farming Readers of Anna Karenina are sometimes puzzled and frustrated by the extensive sections of the novel devoted to Levins agricultural interests. We are treated to long passages describing the process of mowing, we hear much about peasant attitudes toward wooden and iron plows, and we are subjected to Levins sociological theorizing about why European agricultural reforms do not work in Russia.
Yet this focus on agriculture and farming fulfills an important function in the novel and has a long literary tradition behind it. The idyll, a genre of literature dating from ancient times, portrays farmers and shepherds as 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. In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy updates the idyll by making his spokesman in the novel, Levin, a devoted farmer as well as an impassioned philosopherand the only character in the novel who achieves a clear vision of faith and happiness.
For Levin, farming is a way of moving beyond oneself, pursuing something larger than ones own private desiresa pursuit that he sees as the cornerstone of all faith and happiness.
His days spent mowing the fields bring him into closer contact with the Russian peasantssymbols of the native Russian spiritthan anyone else achieves. Other characters who harp on the virtues of peasants, such as Sergei, rarely interact with them.
Levins connections with farmers thus show him rooted in his nation and culture more so than Europeanized aristocrats like Anna. He is in closer touch with the truths of existence. It is no accident that Levin finally finds faith by listening to his peasant Fyodor, a farmer. Nor is it accidental that Levins statement of the meaning of life in the novels last paragraph recalls agriculture.
Levin concludes that the value of life is in the goodness he puts into itjust as, we might say, the value of a farm lies in the good seeds and labor that the farmer puts into it.
Ultimately, Levin reaches an idea of faith based on growth and cultivation. Motifs Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the texts major themes. The Interior Monologue Though Tolstoy has a reputation for being a simple and straightforward writer, he was in fact a great stylistic innovator. He pioneered the use of a device that is now commonplace in novels but was radically new in the nineteenth centurythe interior monologue.
The interior monologue is the authors portrayal of a characters thoughts and feelings directly, not merely in paraphrase or summary but as if directly issuing from the characters mind. Earlier writers such as Shakespeare had used the monologue in drama, writing scenes in which characters speak to the audience directly in asides or soliloquies. In narrative fiction, however, writers had rarely exploited the interior monologue for extended passages the way Tolstoy does in Anna Karenina.
The interior monologue gives the reader great empathy with the character. When we accompany someones thoughts, perceptions, and emotions step by step through an experience, we inevitably come to understand his or her motivations more intimately. I n Anna Karenina, Tolstoy gives us access to Levins interior monologue at certain key moments in his life: his experience of the bliss of love when Kitty accepts him as husband, his physical ecstasy at mowing with the peasants, and his fear when Kitty is suffering in childbirth.
But Tolstoy uses the device of interior monologue far more extensively and movingly in his portrayal of Annas last moments, on her ride to the station where she dies at the end of Part Seven. Without access to her thoughts, we would have a much flimsier understanding of what drives Anna to suicide. Without it, her death would be just another casualty on the long list of women in Russian literature who kill themselves over love.
Reading Annas monologue, however, we see the liveliness and even humor that make her such a vivid individual in the novel, as when she interrupts her gloomy meditations to comment on the ridiculous name of the hairstylist Twitkin. We also see the extent to which Anna has become a burden to herselfshe dreams of getting rid of Vronsky and of myself. The interior monologue shows us her suicide not as a glamorous clich but as a simple and heartbreaking attempt to rid herself of the very self she once attempted to liberate.
Adultery Anna Karenina is best known as a novel about adultery: Annas betrayal of her husband is the central event of its main plotline. There was a surge of interest in the topic of adultery in the mid-nineteenth century, as evidenced by works such as Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter and Gustave Flauberts Madame Bovary Although the guilty party in these works is always a woman who meets a bad end as a result of her wrongdoing, the nineteenth-century adultery novel is actually less religiously moralizing than we might expect.
Anna Karenina is a case in point. Although the novel is loaded with biblical quotations issuing from the mouths of characters and from its own epigraph, its moral atmosphere is not overwhelmingly Christian. Indeed, many of the novels devout Christian characters, such as Madame Stahl and Lydia Ivanovna, are repellent and hypocritical. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy, Copyright notice These books are published in Australia and are out of copyright here.
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