Lecture 4, AK - Thursday November 7th 2013 LECTURE 4 ANNA KARENINA Dolly doesnt know that she has been summoned by Stiva and is acting as her brothers

Lecture 4, AK - Thursday November 7th 2013 LECTURE 4 ANNA...

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Thursday, November 7 th , 2013 L ECTURE 4: A NNA K ARENINA . Dolly doesn’t know that she has been summoned by Stiva and is acting as her brother’s agent. We know that she doesn’t know – pg. 75 : “I’m glad too, and trying by the expression on Anna’s face…” The entire attempt to console Dolly is done under false pretences. “She remembered all the names of the children and their illnesses…” Pg. 79 (bottom): “Dolly,” she said, he has told me.” Pg. 80: “Oh, yes, I understand…” until “weighed down by remorse” (remember the beginning of the novel; is Anna lying or does she really think Stiva is weighed down by remorse?) Clearly, she knows that Stiva is not the type of person weighed down by remorse. She may not be deliberately lying but doing the sort of thing Stiva often does. It’s not that she is telling a deliberate lie, it’s like what salesmen often do; it’s that they say on that particular occasion what needs to be said; you have to ‘cultivate the forgettery’, don’t ask whether or not it’s true. Stiva: He has educated himself out of the idea of remorse. Pg. 81: Anna is being deliberately manipulative here; she figures out what will “touch Dolly most”. The question, ‘is Stiva capable of remorse’ becomes ‘Is Dolly capable of forgiveness?’ o The alternative would be that she has to stay but in such a way that would not humiliate her, that would satisfy her sense of pride and self-esteem and this is what Anna offers her; she makes Dolly the superior one, the one who forgives, and that’s enough to satisfy her pride. Pg. 82: “One thing I would say…” We are women, we come from the same ethnic group, they are trying to deceive you, it should raise your level of suspicion; Dolly is too naïve to see that this is something she is saying for a purpose. Dolly asks (top of pg. 83 ): “but what if it’s repeated?” and Anna says, “it can’t be as I understand it…” The way you know something is a lie is not technically by figuring out a loophole through which it would be true, but the test of lying is deception. The test of lying is not falsehood, it is actually deception. Lying involves the notion of deception: what would I think if something like that were said to me? And here, she is being deliberately false. A lot of readers of AK have interpreted it as a grand, romantic story with Anna as the young, problematic heroine victimized by society (all the clichés and the ones you do), having no choice to do what she did and falling in passionate love and ruled by a terrorizing husband and an unfeeling social world. Another group think that the point is to show how one could think and believe that way and yet be wrong. The book is showing both why Anna is so attractive but also what she’s doing is so morally terrible. Falsehood: deceiving others and then deceiving herself. (“Here she thought what would touch Dolly the most…”) Why is Anna being false here? – the first group of readers would not point this out.

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