Anna Karenina Final Paper - Two Books Two Relationships Two Outcomes Leo Tolstoys masterpiece Anna Karenina is famously acclaimed for its combination of

Anna Karenina Final Paper - Two Books Two Relationships Two...

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Two Books, Two Relationships, Two OutcomesLeo Tolstoy’s masterpiece Anna Kareninais famously acclaimed for its combination of characters and plot lines that appeal to any reader. Whether they indentify with Karenin or Stiva, Lydia Ivanovna or Anna, even a modern audience can relate to some, if not the entirety of this timeless classic. Tolstoy, who originally released the book in parts through magazine circulation, understood the importance of not to boring an audience actively waiting to read about the continued exploits of his characters. In releasing his book in stages, however, Tolstoy employed an extended form of parallelism, intentionally creating distinct similarities between different parts in the first and second halves of the novel. Moreover, he separates the two so dynamically that it is as if between parts four and five there is a reset button that, if desired, would allow the audience to read the final three parts without the prior four and, with the exception of peripheral details, miss out on little of the relationships between Anna and Vronsky and Kitty and Levin, respectively. In writing this way, Tolstoy’s Anna Kareninacan be separated into two books; one comprised of parts one through four and the other containing five through seven and the epilogue. When viewed through this lens, there are clear similarities between the opening parts of each novel, especially when comparing the relationship of Anna and Vronsky to that of Kitty and Levin and in the evolution of the relationships themselves. Near the end of Part One, Tolstoy illustrates a blizzard striking the train that Anna and Vronsky have taken back to St. Petersburg, each unbeknownst to the other. This monstrous storm represents the chaos that spawned from Anna and Vronsky’s chance meeting in Moscow. Though both hail from St. Petersburg, there is little connection between Vronsky and Anna Karenina before their fateful meeting in the Moscow train station. At first glance, he is struck by “her shining grey eyes, which seemed dark because of their thick lashes”(61). She echoes his glance
as Tolstoy describes how “a surplus of something so overflowed her being that it expressed itself (…) now in the brightness of her glance, now in her smile”(61). The two are instantly infatuated with each other. For some time, however, Vronsky had been courting another woman, Kitty—the woman whom Vronsky’s trip to Moscow was originally focused on and who Anna knows absolutely nothing about. Absorbed their newfound lust, however, Tolstoy has Vronsky and Anna meet again later that evening and causes Anna to be stricken by “a strange (…) pleasure [that] suddenly stirred in her heart, together with a fear of something”(75). At the same time, as soon as Vronsky “saw her, (…) something ashamed and frightened appeared in his expression”(75). In these instantaneous reactions, the reader is shown the truth of Vronsky and Anna’s relationship—one that would continue to plague them throughout the book. In this moment, both Anna and

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