Sunday, May 10, 2009
Review of Anna Karenina
This is a different version of the one I have because mine is so old.
From the back cover of the one I own:
Tolstoy's genius for viewing social classes in the largest possible context and for sketching the subtlest human gestures becomes most evident in Anna Karenina. To this novel he brought his troubling conviction that at his moments of most intense experience Man is closed to Death. This double drama of Anna and of Levin. Sensual, rebellious, Anna renounces respectable marriage and fine position for a passionate involvement which offers a taste of freedom and a trap for destruction. Levin, an eccentric and melancholy young nobleman, surrenders his individuality to live as a peasant.
Applauded as the greatest novel of modern social realism, Anna Karenina contains the nucleus of Tolstoy's program for nonviolence and abstention form worldly riches- a program based on personal interpretation of the Gospels that made him one of the world's most venerated teachers.
The novel opens with Dolly learning of her husband Stiva's affair. She is devastated. His sister Anna comes to visit her brother and his wife and pretty soon she had an affair with Vronsky. She then goes on to leave her husband for Karenin for him. This story goes on about the lives of these 4 people along with Kitty and Levin's relationship. I really don't want to spoil it for you.
From the beginning this novel captivated me and kept my attention. Although it is a long novel it does not seem that way. It took me a month to read it but then again I was reading several other novels along with it. Tolstoy captures the human emotion and you begin to feel what the character were feeling. This is easily one of my favorites and I would recommend it to anyone.
Some of the meaningful quotes in the novel are:
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
That is so true. I think so true every family has problems that can make them unhappy but the the way they deal with their unhappiness varies and is unique.
The last one I would like to quote is this one:
"Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be. But if you don't love me, it would be better and more honest to say so"
I think a lot of people can relate to this line from Anna to Vronksy. I think people have experienced that feeling in one of their relationships in life I know I have that is why its very meaninful to me.