Saturday, October 26, 2019

Coming Full Circle in Anna Karenina Essay -- Literary Analysis

What happens when you cut yourself off from society, or are cut off by it? This is the main question that Leo Tolstoy explores in Anna Karenina. Isolated from society, Anna is destroyed by a conflict of wills. The desire of the individual is forced to give way to society’s restrictions and requirements, represented in the image of the railroad. Those who do not conform to society will ultimately face death, a fate, that both Anna and Vronsky will not be able to outrun as a consequence of their illegitimate relationship. Besides personifying the necessity of living within society’s realm of expectations, the railroad serves a central role in the organizational plan of the novel. The major railway scenes can be interpreted as pillars supporting the structure of the novel by connecting the Anna/Vronsky storyline. It is at a railway station where Anna is introduced to Vronsky, where he admits his love to her and where Anna makes her first and last appearance. The recurrence of motifs and the final return to initial associations within Anna Karenina serve to create the symmetrical architecture of the work. The first mention of the railroad is in context of children and their games, which serves as a premonition of the events to come. The children who are aware of the current distraught household are playing with a box, representing a train. Stiva’s eldest girl is heard telling off her younger sibling, telling him that â€Å"[she] told [him] not to put the passengers on the roof†, instructing him to â€Å"[pick them up !† (Anna Karenina p.7). The children’s games foreshadow not only the accident at the station but Anna’s suicide at the conclusion of the novel. ... ... As a result of Anna’s willingness to abandon her home and husband to build her happiness on other human being’s suffering. Anna’s action causes Kitty to suffer heartbreak as she loses Vronsky, the man she loved, to Anna. In addition, Anna and Vronsky’s relationship breaks up Anna and Karenin’s marriage and causes Serezha to grow up without his mother’s presence. The wrath of society punishes Anna for her sin by crushing her, metaphorically as well as literally. Bibliography Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Translated by Yuri Corrigan. London: Genius Translators Press, 1999. Bayley, John. Tolstoy and the Novel. London, 1966. Gustafson, Richard. Leo Tolstoy: Resident and Stranger. Princeton, 1986. Jahn, Gary. The Image of the Railroad in Anna Karenina. The Slavic and East European Journal Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 1-10

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.