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Anna Karanina Essay, Research Paper

L.E.A.P. Journal for Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A. Section covered: Part 1 and 2 (pages 17-245)

B. Summary: This story first starts out with chaos in the Oblonsky’s household. Prince Stephen Oblonsky’s wife Dolly found out that he was having an affair with their children’s French governess and threatened to move out of the house and take the kids with her. Stephen Oblonsky does not feel bad for having an affair. What he feels bad for is getting caught by his wife. Even though he is upset he is happy to hear the news that his sister, Anna Karenina, is coming to town though. Later in the section Anna convinces Dolly to stay with her husband and not move out. It did not take much to convince her because her threats were empty. Oblonsky is the head of a distinguished Government Board in Moscow. He is glad to leave his house and go to work to meet his friend Levin after a committee meeting. He remembers that he friend Levin is in love with his sister-in-law Kitty Shcherbatskaya. He later asked her to marry him, but she declines his proposal. Kitty is waiting to marry Count Vronsky. When Anna comes to town her and Vronsky fall in love despite that she is already married. Kitty realized that Vronsky was not going to marry her. She got sick and went abroad to recover. Anna lies to her husband which make them drift farther apart, but she and Vronsky draw closer.

C. Analysis: The way this book is starting out it seems like Leo Tolstoy has written it about the love and the marriage of higher powered figures in Russia. He started out the story with the fighting in the Oblonsky household. That seems to refer to the downside of some marriages because Dolly found out about her husband cheating on her. In the Oblonsky house Tolstoy also shows loyalty from Dolly. She knows her threats were empty and she knows that she will forgive her husband. Tolstoy shows different angles with each couple. Anna and her husband Karenin are well off and have an established marriage with a son. Then Anna falls in love with someone else and that marriage takes a turn for the worse. Levin loves Kitty, but Kitty does not see love for Levin in the first part of the story. She sees love for Vronsky.

When Tolstoy is telling the story he always has a problem with some characters going on. He breaks up a couple, but then another couple gets together and solves a problem. There was never a dull moment in this part of the story. You had to keep up with what was going on just like a soap opera. Different characters kept getting mentioned and placed in different situations.

Part one of this story really introduces the main themes and characters of the book. It describes their relationships and sets up the events that will become the main points and plot of the story. Each little story makes up the book. They all cross each other and run parallel with each other. This first section that I read seems to flow real nicely and it had some well-written parts that made the story come to life.

A theme in the book is how each family and each character shows their social behavior. Social behavior is something that would be looked upon greatly with these characters because they are all high-class people. They are people who have respectable jobs and know everyone else. An example would be how Anna and Vronsky were talking at Princess Betsy’s house and everyone thought of that to be something wrong because Anna was married and her husband was in the same room. The characters have to appeal to the society.

D. Personal Reaction: In this story so far I have thought it to be like today’s society. Even though these people are from high-class people and hold high powering jobs they still have things happen to them in everyday life that make things difficult. There are people that would fit nicely on Jerry Springer with all their love triangles. People who have family problems that they need to work on. Also, the social stature of these people does not seem to mean quite as much sometimes. Just like how it was here with the president and all the scandals that happened.

I find this story interesting to read. I did not quite catch on about all the things at first. It seemed a little boring. Now I want to find out what is going to happen to all the people and how everything is going to turn out.

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