Ch 29 Anna is on the train reading an English novel but is having trouble

Ch 29 anna is on the train reading an english novel

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Ch. 29 Anna is on the train reading an English novel, but is having trouble paying attention. o Tolstoy is interested in attention—how it is distracted and what we think is worth our attention o Anna is able to read after a while b/c she gets used to the noise and is able to filter it out. Our minds are drawn to what is new. Anna didn’t like to read about other people’s lives. She wanted to be doing them herself, and describes what is occurring in the books. o Very clear that she’s reading Anthony Trollop, Can You Forgive Her , which is about 3 plots where a woman has to choose between two men: a worthy man, and an exciting, wild man. Like choosing between Karenin and Vronsky. There are parallels between her life and what she’s reading. o She can’t stand for somebody else, even in a book, to be the center of attention. Is this how a narcissist reads? Thinking about the book, and then it flips to her consciousness o Says “ he ought to feel ashamed.” He=Vronsky. A narrator would have said Vronsky, but since it’s Anna thinking she already knows who she’s thinking of. o Asks herself “What have I to be ashamed of?” Shows she is feeling ashamed, but she doesn’t know what it is and says “There is nothing.” Only justify yourself if you think there is something to justify. o Thinking of Vronsky, she feels ashamed, and can’t read anymore. o Description of sexual arousal follows as she thinks of Vronsky. Fingers the paper knife… very obvious psychological symbol. Doesn’t know whether she’s going forward or backward in the train. o Illustrates moral relativity—feels drawn to a state of delirium. Just like when one falls in love, feels pulled into it. Feels like it’s against ones will, but she knows that she can yield to it or not. o Tolstoy is saying, and she is saying, that you can resist falling into the delirium if you choose. Fatalism, ironically enough, is a philosophy that you choose because it absolves you of guilt. Ch. 30 As soon as she got out of the train she sees her husband and wonders why his ears look so funny.
o Sign that she is beginning to fall in love with Vronsky and is therefore looking critically at her husband. o Also the beginning of a process, first step that will be traced, in which she chooses to see her husband in as unflattering a light as possible. o Logic: If you want to do something that will hurt someone, it helps to dehumanize the person. If the person is not human (she’ll say later he’s a puppet, a machine) then you can’t be hurting the person because they can’t feel. Or if the person is so loathesome or so repulsive, then you can tell yourself it’s a physical repulsion and you have no choice but to leave them because you can’t stand being near them.

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