In the middle of his work on Anna Karenina, Tolstoy experienced his own moral "conversion" just as Levin does at the novel's conclusion. This was the time when Russia's greatest artist begins to despise art for being an idle, voluptuous, immoral luxury; where Tolstoy discovered life's significance must be self-denying so that one lives "for one's soul" by loving others in the image of God. With these anti-art commitments, Anna Karenina became a tiresome, repellent work for the author. The novel may never have been completed at all were it not that its serialized publication obliged Tolstoy to fulfill his contract with the publisher. Levin reflects Tolstoy's own moral struggle and the novel progresses according to its author's evolving philosophy. Parallel Plot The complexity and sweep of Anna Karenina derives from Tolstoy's use of the double plot. While
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