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

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Thursday, November 7th, 2013LECTURE4: ANNAKARENINA.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 onAnna’s face…” The entire attempt to console Dolly is done under false pretences. “Sheremembered 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 beginningof 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 notbe deliberately lying but doing the sort of thing Stiva often does. It’s not that she is telling adeliberate lie, it’s like what salesmen often do; it’s that they say on that particular occasionwhat 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 Dollymost”. The question, ‘is Stiva capable of remorse’ becomes ‘Is Dolly capable of forgiveness?’oThe alternative would be that she has to stay but in such a way that would nothumiliate her, that would satisfy her sense of pride and self-esteem and this is whatAnna offers her; she makes Dolly the superior one, the one who forgives, and that’senough to satisfy her pride.Pg. 82:“One thing I would say…”We are women, we come from the same ethnic group, theyare trying to deceive you, it should raise your level of suspicion; Dolly is too naïve to see thatthis is something she is saying for a purpose. Dolly asks (top ofpg. 83): “but what if it’srepeated?” 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 throughwhich 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 ifsomething 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 nochoice to do what she did and falling in passionate love and ruled by a terrorizing husband andan unfeeling social world. Another group think that the point is to show how one could thinkand believe that way and yet be wrong. The book is showing both why Anna is so attractivebut also what she’s doing is so morally terrible.Falsehood: deceiving others and thendeceiving herself.(“Here she thought what would touch Dolly the most…”) Why is Annabeing false here? – the first group of readers would not point this out.

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Term
Spring
Professor
IlyaKutik

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