midterm essay examples - Model responses for Midterm Essay 2013 Question 1 Men may be unfaithful but their homes their wives are sacred to them Discuss

midterm essay examples - Model responses for Midterm Essay...

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Model responses for Midterm Essay 2013 Question 1 “Men may be unfaithful but their homes, their wives are sacred to them.” Discuss the irony of the statement in the context of the novel. Model Answer #1. This answer touches the key points: who said this to whom and in what context, and why it was ironic. In the context of Tolstoy’s, Anna Karenina, Anna tells Dolly, “men may be unfaithful but their homes, their wives are sacred to them”. This is an ironic thing for Anna to say to her sister in law, not only because she herself later becomes part of a love affair that ruins her family and household, but also because she does not view marriage and family as sacred as she is leading Dolly to believe. In 19th century Russia, marriage was to be held sacred by both parties. When Anna’s brother, Oblonsky, is unfaithful to his wife, Dolly, Anna consoles her and convinces her to eventually look past the events and forgive Oblonsky. This shows Anna’s hypocritical nature, and that not even she truly believes that marriage is sacred. Anna wants to believe that her marriage is significant, but she sees herself in an ill-fated home with a man she doesn’t love, and her self-centered nature tells her that a life of passion will satisfy her more than a life of security. Anna’s affair with Vronsky tore apart her marriage, her relationship with her son Seryozha, and the family’s social status. Karenin, for the most part made an attempt to keep his marriage with Anna sacred. He notices her ties to Vronsky early on, and cautions her that it is not socially acceptable for her to be seen with another man. Eventually, he refuses to divorce her, however, Anna is too concerned with her own desires to care about her husband and household. She gives up everything she has for a new life with Vronsky, which is something Oblonsky would never do. It is clear that Oblonsky cares deeply for his wife and children, and doesn’t want to throw everything that he has away for a passionate romance, something that Anna does without thought. Oblonsky takes his marriage and status in society more seriously than Anna does, and she is outcast from society when she gets involved with Vronsky, however most people seem to forgive Oblonsky. Their society seems more forgiving of men who commit adultery than women. This is evident in the responses that Anna gets from her peers, versus the responses to

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