Alice's Reviews > Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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's review
Apr 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: classics
Read in April, 2011

Undoubtedly, books have been written about feminism, Tolstoy and Anna Karenina. I am not a literary scholar so my comments will be brief.

Interesting that Anna's ultimate cause of destruction is her refusal/denial of traditional gender roles (e.g. forsaking motherhood, not only of her daughter and son, but also any future offspring). I am reading Wollenscraft's "Vindication for the Rights of Woman" and I believe she argues that without something constructive to do or think, a woman's life is consumed by vanity which leads to ruination. Exemplified in Anna.

My favorite character is Anna's husband. I would love to read an essay about his role in the book.

I appreciate the theme of beauty and destruction - the only woman described as beautiful is immoral, vain, selfish, and ultimately goes mad. All the 'good' women have "lost their looks".

I did not explore in my own mind the conversion story, mostly because Levin bored me, but it is refreshing that Tolstoy included the realism of internal change not being mirrored in external reality.


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