Anna Karenina The most prominent theme that is displayed in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is the idea of love and love in a marriage situation. Marriage does not seem to be respected as it should be in a good society (not America). It is believed that if one like someone simply by meeting him or her then it would be acceptable to be married. This is brought forth through the relationship between Levin and Kitty (actual name is Princess Catherine Alexandrova Shcherbatskaya). They meet originally and Levin is greatly attracted to Kitty but is turned down by Kitty's love for Vronsky. Only after Vronsky turns Kitty down, will Kitty marry Levin. This is odd that people would be wed because it is the next person on someone's list. Even though their relationship started on odd ground, they are the family that has the most love and stays together.
Another family in the novel is the Oblonsky and Dolly family.
In this family Oblonsky has many affairs and yet he is not shunned by society and it is accepted as okay for the man to d such a thing. Oblonsky and Dolly regularly help the other characters with their problems and are hypocritical in what they do.
The last of the families and the focus of the novel is the relationship between Anna Karenina and Karenin. This isn't a family at all through the novel because early on they split without having a divorce and Anna runs to Vronsky. Anna is charmed by him and they plan to have a very happy and social life together. This can not happen because Anna is placed outside of the society line for what she has done. It is acceptable for men to commit adultery but not women. The relationship between Anna and Vronsky is not happy at all and small things set each of them off and they do not get along. The relationships in the book are similar to ones of America, but more peculiar.
SECTION TWO This book affected me because it woke me up to what really happened to people in that area and how unfortunate things can be. Most writings of this day portray love conquering all. In Anna Karenina the love between her and Vronsky proves to be more devastating than positive. I studied European History last year and I learned more about this area in this time then I could have learned in that class even if I did pay attention. This truly portrays the ideas of people at this time through not a historian but a person who lived through this.
Few books have intrigued me as a reader and those that have, are classic European novels. Crime and Punishment, The Divine Comedy and now this. Novels today are just branches off of the classic writing tree so what better to read then the trunk. The predictability of books does not spark thought as do these masterpieces. When things occur in these novels they have a set up but it is not as straight-forward and obvious as those of recent day.
This book also awakened me to the reliability of marriage in an age as ours or of Tolstoy's. Divorce is common and it is not looked upon as bad and does not receive any downgrade of. It is as if marriage is no longer a holy testimony of love but more is a tradition that one does repeatedly in life. Adultery is also looked upon as natural (at least for males) and does not seem as serious to such a society. This is a problem and should not be accepted as it is today.