Anna Karenina is one of the most famous books in the history of literature, which, along with the book War and Peace, has immortalized the name of its author forever.
A book in which the character of “Anna” is not just a woman, not just a shining example of femininity, but she is a woman whose moral nature is complete, strong and important.
You may be interested to know that Tolstoy once believed that novels were a means of educating the soul and created three great novels during his lifetime. But after a while, he distanced himself from writing the novel.
Tolstoy “came to the conclusion that art is ungodly because it is based on imagination, on deception, on the fabrication of imagination. “Thus, just when she had reached the pinnacle of creativity with Anna Carnina, she suddenly decided to give up writing altogether, except to write essays on ethics.”
Critique of the novel by Anna Karenina
I think I’ve read Anna Carnina’s novel five or six times, and each time I get a different impression. This work is a remarkable novel in many ways. This Tolstoy novel is a parallel story of two characters. The first character, Anna Karnina, is a beautiful woman from the aristocracy whose life ends tragically, and the second is a Maliki named Constantine Levine, whose concerns about agriculture, morals and decency, and what is to come to Russia. It basically reflects the thoughts and opinions of the author himself. The novel is the story of the decay that takes place in the heart of this society.
The book begins with a betrayal: Prince Ablonsky, Anna’s brother and Dolly’s wife, secretly enter into a relationship with their children’s French teacher. Anna’s brother asks her to mediate and prevent her and Dolly from ending their marriage. So Anna travels by train from St. Petersburg to Moscow to meet a cavalry officer named Kenneth Voronsky, who later becomes Anna’s first love.
Their meeting coincides with the death of a railway worker under the train, which marks a catastrophe that will befall Anna a few years later. Seeing this at the beginning of the book may have had an indirect effect on Anna’s subconscious, which later led her to end her life in exactly the same way.
In this two-volume book, Tolstoy narrates a story that includes many characters. From the affluent people of Moscow and St. Petersburg to the miserable peasants and slum dwellers. The book’s various story plots are relatively simple: they are the story of the ups and downs of several different connections. The second storyline is about Constantine and his love for Kitty (who had previously been in love with Veronsky).
But the main storyline is about Anna’s growing relationship with Kenneth Veronsky and its impact on Anna’s marriage to her husband, Karin. The author does not skip anything superficial or simple: we see Carnin’s suspicions.
Then Anna’s pregnancy and finally her death. We also see Anna and Voronsky traveling to Italy and escaping the scandal they face as a result of this illegitimate relationship. Then we see their return to the country, and finally, with the deterioration of their relationship, we finally face their death.
Tolstoy himself was an owner and a member of the aristocracy. He knew the details of the Russian aristocracy. He skillfully exposes all these details to the reader, as he depicts the process of Anna falling from a respected spouse to a hated one in society. The range that Tolstoy has chosen for his novel allows him to reveal these incredible details.
He speaks only 47 pages about the deadly equestrian race in which Veronsky’s horse was killed. (Something that describes exactly how Veronsky’s relationship with Anna.) This kind of writing is great. It makes you understand and empathize with Anna, Voronsky, Carnin, and even the horse that suffered this calamity.
Anna falls in love with Veronsky and can not give up on him. Carnin knows that this illicit relationship will continue and must be maintained. But he still opposes divorcing Anna. This puts Anna in a dilemma.
He wants to live freely with Voronsky, but the customs of the aristocratic society completely prevent him. Anna and her husband have a lot of wealth, but they are not satisfied with their lives. Anna is trapped among the people who do not accompany her. When he returns to the city and goes to an opera, he is brutally humiliated and reprimanded.
Critique of the novel by Anna Karenina
Wealth has removed any emotion from the lives of Anna and Veronsky. They can not live a real or meaningful life together. As Tolstoy intended, Anna is an incredibly attractive character. He is beautiful, intelligent and sensitive (except for his relationship with his wife, of course). It has an extraordinary social status and is the center of everyone’s attention whenever it enters the parliament.
But in the end it turns out that even these features are not enough. The older he gets and the bigger and sadder he gets, the less he cares about physical attractiveness and the more he focuses on his self-esteem.
This continues even when Anna realizes that the same insignificance has caused Veronsky to distance herself from her.
While Tolstoy took the story of his other great novel, War and Peace, to the past and the Napoleonic Wars, Anna Carnina takes place during the author’s lifetime. Written in 1870, the novel depicts a changing Russian society.
This change had completely affected Tolstoy. In 1861, about a decade ago, the abolition of slavery had begun. This process had brought about major changes in land and agriculture. It also coincided with the Russian Industrial Revolution. Russia was captivated in the past by traditions and inequalities that continued for hundreds of years, and now modernity is overcoming them.
The railroad tracks that are one of the most important elements of this novel are a way to enter the vast countryside. Veronsky real estate is full of English goods and products. These are signs of progress and modernity.
The aristocracy is torn between two groups: those like Levin who seek change and want more from agriculture, and those who still want to live a prosperous and useless life in Russia’s two major cities.
Anna Karenina is an epic story about the death of a country and the death of a culture. At that time, thousands of princes, who in any case were admired by their servants, mocked their language, spoke French to each other, and took foreign language teachers for their children.
In his literature and even in his life, Tolstoy sought to find a way to deal with this collapse. He only succeeded to some extent and became a Christian norm-breaker who began to criticize Russian society. Of course, his criticisms were seen as an invitation to the past.
When Tolstoy died in 1910, students marched in his memory. Even some workers in St. Petersburg and Russia went on strike in his honor. Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution, wrote about Tolstoy after his death: “Tolstoy could not find a way to escape the hell of bourgeois culture.
“But he raised the question with irresistible power that only scientific socialism can answer.” Anna Carnina illustrates this well. Anna is a symbol of a society that can not survive. Less than half a century later, this part of society as a whole disappeared.
2- Introducing the book Anna Karenina in Aparat