Title: and oriental languages at Kazan University. His

Title: Anna KareninaAuthor: Leo TolstoySignificant details about the author:The Tolstoys were a well-known family of old Russian nobility who traced their ancestry to a mythical nobleman. Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, a family estate 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Tula, Russia, and 200 kilometers (120 mi) south of Moscow. He was the fourth of five children of Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, and Countess Mariya Tolstaya (Volkonskaya). Tolstoy’s parents died when he was young, so he and his siblings were brought up by relatives. In 1844, he began studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University. His teachers described him as “both unable and unwilling to learn. His conversion from a dissolute and privileged society author to the non-violent and spiritual anarchist of his latter days was brought about by his experience in the army as well as two trips around Europe in 1857 and 1860–61. Year of Publication: 1877Information about the period (literary, historical, philosophical, etc.):This book was published at the onset of the Russia-Turkish War. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro. It was also a time of growing contact between russia and the rest of the world. Describe the setting(s) and explain the significance:The story switches from different places in russia, going from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Russian provinces, with brief interludes in Germany and Italy. It takes place in the 1870sPoint of view and other notable structural, literary, and stylistic techniques:The nameless narrator of the novel presents both facts and inner thoughts of characters that no single character in the plot could know. Chiefly with regard to Anna and Levin, but occasionally to others as well, the narrator describes characters’ states of mind, feelings, and attitudes. For a lengthy section at the end of Part Seven, the narrator enters directly into Anna’s mind.Name of each significant characterRelationship to other charactersKey traits / adjectives to describePurpose / function in story (round or flat?)Anna KareninaSister to Stiva, wife of Karenin, friend of Princess Kitty, and lover of VronskyBeautifulHonestDevotedHeadstrongShe is a round character who morphs from the loyal and dutiful wife of Karenin, to the unfaithful adulteress acting as count vronsky’s mistress, yet throughout the story she develops a strong devotion to her son Aleksei KareninHusband of Anna KareninaColdDutifulFormalPowerfulemptyHe is a very important society man who acts to fuel the novel’s central conflict, he stands between Anna and her lusty love VronskyCount VronskyAnna’s lover   DashingHandsomeDrivenrude           He is a very round character who seems extremely evil and forbidden, He ruins kittys life and then ruins Annas, and in the end gives it all up to pursue his society lifeLevinFriend of stiva and lover/husband of princess kittyAwkwardGenerousPhilosophicalThroughout the novel Levin goes through a bunch of revelations, starting with when he is declined by Kitty, and ending when he realizes he truly loves kitty and their childPrincess KittyFriend of Anna, Past love interest of count vronksy, Wife of LevinVery sweetBeautifulSensitiveChildishCompassionate Kitty is at first the obstacle between Vronsky and Anna, and then the antagonist to Levin’s protagonist. Eventually she realizes she loves Levin and she cares for his dying brother NikolaiSecondary characters (brief identifications)Princess Betsey:  A wealthy friend of Anna’s and Vronsky’s cousin. Betsy has a reputation for wild living and moral looseness.Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya (Dolly)  –  Stiva’s wife and Kitty’s older sister. Dolly is one of the few people who behave kindly toward Anna after her affair becomes public. Dolly’s sympathetic response to Anna’s situation and her guarded admiration for Anna’s attempt to live her life fully hint at the positive aspects of Anna’s 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 Dolly’s husband has betrayed her, and her even more painful awareness that he is not very repentant.Stepan Arkadyich Oblonsky (Stiva)  –  Anna’s brother, a pleasure-loving aristocrat and minor government official whose affair with his children’s 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 governess—which his wife, Dolly, honorably forgives—to a liaison with a ballerina. For Tolstoy, Stiva’s 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.Key scenes/ plot points (turning points, resolutions, climaxes – include page #s) and explain their significance to the entire workAnna struggles between her passion for Vronsky and her desire for independence on the one hand, and her marital duty, social convention, and maternal love on the other; Levin struggles to define his own identity and reach an understanding of faith in an alienating and confusing worldAnna meets Vronsky in the train station, initiating an acquaintance that grows into adulterous passion and family upheaval; their consummation of the affair leads to Anna’s abandonment of her husband and son. Meanwhile, Kitty rebuffs Levin’s marriage proposal, prompting him to withdraw to his estate in the country and reflect on the meaning of life. Anna makes a public appearance at the opera, forcing a confrontation between her desire to live life on her own terms and the hostile opinions of St. Petersburg society, which scorns and rejects her; this episode seals her fate as a social outcast and fallen woman. Meanwhile, Levin’s search for meaning is rewarded by marriage to Kitty, stable family life, and an understanding of faith.Anna commits suicide, unable to bear her lack of social freedom and the jealousy and suspicion arising from her unstable relationship with Vronsky. Meanwhile, Levin continues his new life as enlightened husband, father, and landowner.Major conflicts (in abstract terms, with resolutions)Dolly and Stiva’s failing marriage, she gets back with him so that she won’t be completely ignored by society, although she still can look at him the sameKarenin divorces anna and stops letting her see her son, he tries to support her but she is just so rude to hiimAnna and Vronsky’s little love is squashed by Anna’s jealousy, and Vronsky’s impatience. Anna kills herselfKitty and Levin marry and after watching kitty care for his dying brother so graciously he realizes he is very much deeply in love with her. Write and explain the major themes of the workHypocrisyThis theme is first touched upon with the novel’s epigraph: “Vengeance is mine, I shall repay.” This epigraph is a warning to both Russian Society and to the reader that the only person allowed to judge is God. The rest of us, being imperfect, merely make ourselves into hypocrites when we judge someone else. Russian Society is full of hypocrites in this book?indeed, the very corruption of this society is symbolized by the way socialites treat Anna after she elopes with Vronsky. Although most members of Russian Society (men and women included) conduct extra-marital affairs, they turn on Anna when it turns out that her affair goes deeper than mere carnal desire. Princess Betsy is an excellent example of the hypocrisy in Russian Society.JealousyAnna Karenina features portraits of three relationships: Dolly and Oblonsky, Kitty and Levin, and Anna and Vronsky. In all three of these relationships, jealousy plays a role that affects the success of the relationship. In general, the less jealous a couple are, the more successful they will be. Dolly is jealous when Oblonsky is unfaithful, but she represses this feeling for the good of their children and their home, and they stay together as a result. Levin and Kitty are jealous of each other at first, but as they grow into themselves and their relationship (and, in Levin’s case, his relationship with God), their jealousy fades and their relationship strengthens. Finally, Anna’s relationship with Vronsky is destroyed by her all-consuming jealousy.FaithFaith is the overriding aspect of Levin’s story. Tortured by existential doubts throughout most of the book, he experiences an epiphany at the end that shows him the reason for his existence. By learning to have faith in God, and following His rules, Levin experiences the joyful peace that is faith. Faith also saves his relationship with Kitty, because he learns that he must place his life in the hands of the Lord, and not look at Kitty to be his Savior.FidelityLike jealousy, fidelity is a concern of the three relationships highlighted in the novel. When a young man flirts with Kitty, Levin “already saw himself as a deceived husband, who was needed by his wife and her lover only in order to provide them with the comforts of life and with pleasures.” Meanwhile, Dolly’s trust in Oblonsky is shattered when she learns that he has been unfaithful. And, due to double standards of fidelity for men and women, Anna is punished the most of all for her infidelity. (Though, it must be said, that Anna also abandoned her husband and son, thereby causing the most damage.) The importance of fidelity?at least the fidelity of women?is underlined throughout the novel.SocietyRussian High Society comes in for a beating in Anna Karenina. The hypocrisies and petty, small-minded beliefs of Society are painstakingly documented?from their condemnation of Anna to their crusade to “save” the Slavs at the end of the book. But Tolstoy also offers an amazing portrayal of Society’s rules and rituals: dinners, balls, parties, horse-riding and croquet games. And social interaction is vital to the health of a relationship: one of the major reasons why Anna is so jealous of Vronsky is because he has the freedom to move in society, whereas she has been cast out from society.Write at least five vocabulary words from the text (with p#) and define them.Magnanimously-generouslyGarrulously- chattyIntelligentsia- educated eliteErudition- learning acquired through readingCalamity- great misfortune, disasterCite and quote five significant passages (with p#, use ellipses to abbreviate)Explain the significance of each passage or how it relates to the work as a whole.Instead of saying “this shows…”, try “underscores / highlights / exemplifies / epitomizes / substantiates / embodies…”‘And Levin went out of the room, only when he was in the doorway remembering that he had forgotten to take leave of Oblonsky’s colleagues.’ (1.5.73)Levin is socially awkward. He’s clearly not used to high society, since he prefers spending time on his country estate.”Well, what now?” he asked disconsolately.”Go to her, sir; own your fault again. Maybe God will aid you. She is suffering so, it’s sad to see her; and besides, everything in the house is topsy-turvy. You must have pity, sir, on the children. Beg her forgiveness, sir. There’s no help for it! One must take the consequences…” (1.2.30-31)The children’s nurse urges Oblonsky to throw himself at his wife’s mercy for the sake of the children. Oblonsky eventually agrees, which provides and interesting contrast to Anna’s later behavior – she does not save her marriage for the sake of her son.But if it is repeated?””It cannot be, as I understand it…””Yes, but could you forgive it?””I don’t know, I can’t judge…. Yes, I can,” said Anna, thinking a moment; and grasping the position in her thought and weighing it in her inner balance, she added: “Yes, I can, I can, I can. Yes, I could forgive it. I could not be the same, no; but I could forgive it, and forgive it as though it had never been, never been at all…””Oh, of course,” Dolly interposed quickly, as though saying what she had more than once thought, “else it would not be forgiveness. If one forgives, it must be completely, completely. Come, let us go; I’ll take you to your room,” she said, getting up, and on the way she embraced Anna. “My dear, how glad I am you came. It has made things better, ever so much better.” (1.19.50)Anna argues that she could forgive repeated infidelity, and would forgive it as though it never happened. Dolly replies that that’s the only kind of forgiveness there is. But do you believe Anna? Maybe she could forgive Karenin if he were unfaithful to her, since she doesn’t love him anyway. But could she forgive Vronsky if he cheated on her? After all, in the last parts of the novel, Anna is consumed with jealousy over Vronsky. What do you think?My God! Forgive me!” she said, sobbing, pressing his hands to her bosom.She felt so sinful, so guilty, that nothing was left her but to humiliate herself and beg forgiveness; and as now there was no one in her life but him, to him she addressed her prayer for forgiveness. Looking at him, she had a physical sense of her humiliation, and she could say nothing more. (2.11.4-5)After she sleeps with Vronsky, Anna begs God for forgiveness, and then, feeling that there’s no one in her life but Vronsky, addresses her plea for forgiveness to him. Why doesn’t Anna ask Karenin for forgiveness? Why Vronsky instead?In Moscow he had for the first time felt, after his luxurious and coarse life at Petersburg, all the charm of intimacy with a sweet and innocent girl of his own rank, who cared for him. It never even entered his head that there could be any harm in his relations with Kitty. At balls he danced principally with her. He was a constant visitor at their house. He talked to her as people commonly do talk in society – all sorts of nonsense, but nonsense to which he could not help attaching a special meaning in her case. Although he said nothing to her that he could not have said before everybody, he felt that she was becoming more and more dependent upon him, and the more he felt this, the better he liked it, and the more tender was his feeling for her. He did not know that his mode of behavior in relation to Kitty had a definite character, that it is courting young girls with no intention of marriage, and that such courting is one of the evil actions common among brilliant young men such as he was. It seemed to him that he was the first who had discovered this pleasure, and he was enjoying his discovery.If he could have heard what her parents were saying that evening, if he could have put himself at the point of view of the family and have heard that Kitty would be unhappy if he did not marry her, he would have been greatly astonished, and would not have believed it. He could not believe that what gave such great and delicate pleasure to him, and above all to her, could be wrong. Still less could he have believed that he ought to marry. (1.16.3-4)Having engaged in a life full of debauchery, Vronsky has no idea of how society views his conduct with Kitty. Though Vronsky feels that he has no obligations toward Kitty, thinking that they’re just having a good time, she and her family fully expect him to marry her.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Write at least three questions or topics for discussion.                         Why is traditional society always rendering females worthless/powerless?Is Ann a villain or hero?Should Karenin have completely forgiven Anna?Should Dolly have fully forgiven Stiva?


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