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Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina, Celebrating Literature Jan 2016

Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina, Celebrating Literature Jan 2016

Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina

You did not look at the cover and just read the story; Anna Karenina may just be the latest “character of the moment”  in Hollywood. Completed in 1878, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is set in the vicissitudes of Russia way back in the nineteenth century. The story challenges the rather traditional mandate on the role of women in society. Tolstoy throws open the concept that it is not a male that explorers the identify of an adulterer but rather that of a woman who assumed the role. Tolstoy drags that further with Vronsky’s fathering of Anna’s daughter. Can it get more dramatic than this?

Tolstoy explores the themes of patriarchism, westernisation, the values held by the upper class and those of the farming community. Moral values are given a thorough bashing with Karenina literally choosing to leave her husband and son in favour of another man. What goes around comes around, so it seems, when Vronsky and Karenina tire of each  other and she becomes suspicious that he is fooling around behind her back.

Her tragic death does prompt us to think she deserved it or empathize that she was dependent on others (in particular males) to sweeten her  soul. A fitting end to the main heroine? – that eventually her suicide makes her the weakest  character in the novel.

Somethings are hard to explain, especially matters of the heart. I am sure there are many Annas today trying to make these tough choices. Enduring and challenging the status quo of what a woman should do and could do.

And so, here’s a journal for the lovers of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. The Unique Gifts Shop

 

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