19th Century Epic Romances discussion

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Anna Karenina Epic Love > Anna Karenina sacrifices everything for love. What would you be willing to sacrifice in the name of love?

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message 1: by Abenet (last edited Oct 02, 2012 05:13PM) (new)

Abenet | 21 comments Not sure what I would sacrifice but I know I would not sacrifice my family in the name of love. In the end, family is all you have.


message 2: by Hillary (new)

Hillary | 1 comments can't wait to see this movie


message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (librarymom23) Abenet wrote: "Not sure what I would sacrifice but I know I would not sacrifice my family in the name of love. In the end, family is all you have."

I agree with you, family is the one thing I would not sacrifice.


message 4: by Paula (new)

Paula | 3 comments I can't wait to see the movie too! I understand why Anna did what she did but I know I could not. i have read this book many times and still love it.


message 5: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (mallenali) People sacrifice all manner of things in the name of love: careers, money, traveling, less fortunate relationships, often family under the right circumstances because after all love is what holds families together.

As far as what I would sacrifice: well probably all of the above but that is only because I know my husband IS my family. Absolutely loving the themes in this book as they are quite in line with The Unbearable Lightness of Being in which one of the main characters reads Anna Karenina.
The question should not be "what would we sacrifice for love" but "what types of love do we sacrifice for which??"


message 6: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte | 1 comments I read Anna Karenina many years ago. I am reading it again now. I am about half way through and don't remember the details leading up to the end - from the point at which I am now reading. Having come half way through, however, I don't believe, and I think it is one of Tolstoy's points - that Anna gives up everything for love. I believe she gives up much for the "coming alive" which she finds in unbridled passion, chemistry and a longing for that which is far removed from her regular and contrived daily experience. So, for me, the question becomes could I move out of the boundaries of marriage, motherhood, my established reputation, my own sense of integrity for an exhilarating fling with a beautiful man to feel, for the first time, in a long time, fully alive? I believe I would be tempted, I believe I would want to taste that experience - I believe also, that as a much younger woman, it might have been a distinct possibility. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am no longer young and realize that integrity, either seeing a commitment through or ending it prior to embarking on another path - have become of equal importance to me as passion.


message 7: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 1 comments I agree with the last post! When I first read Anna Karenina I was 18 and was amazed that it had been written by a man - he was so inside the female psyche. When I reread the novel recently - now a mother with grown children - I could not understand how she could give up her child at all - maternal love seems so indomitable, but of course that is not true for all mothers. I wish it had been Dolly who met her Vronsky!!


message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan I am truely not sure what I would be willing to give up for love, although the one thing that comes to mind, is wealth.


message 9: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (mesamom) | 1 comments What would I sacrifce for love, well I gave up a carreer and became a stay at home mo for the love of my children. 18 years later and no regrets!


message 10: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Pugin | 2 comments If the love and passion are mutual, a person should not be asked to give up the important elements of his or her life. However, when one is obsessed beyond reason, there is no question that everything will be sacrificed in the name of love...but is it really love or simply self involvement? Most women I know wouldn't consider giving up their son for anyone or anything and no one who really love them would ask them to. But then, a man did write this book


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Love has no boundaries, therefore the sacrifices have no limits if indeed it is the real thing. Those of us with children should always be able to put them first and keep that perspective, but beyond that I feel that we can go to great lengths if we know that this is our one "true love."


message 12: by Ruslan (new)

Ruslan Pavlovski | 1 comments Eh, in my humble opinion I see no sacrifice in what Karenina did. She selfishly followed her infatuation with Vronskij. True sacrifice for love would be staying with her husband regardless of her feelings for Vronskij. Similarly her suicidal act, was nothing else than selfish act, it would be so much more sacrificial to live and fight.


message 13: by meg (new)

meg (mleighc) Abenet wrote: "Not sure what I would sacrifice but I know I would not sacrifice my family in the name of love. In the end, family is all you have."

Blood is thicker than water. Never give up your family. :)


message 14: by Cindy (last edited Oct 08, 2012 12:20PM) (new)

Cindy It depends what kind of love and the type of sacrifice I am making.


message 15: by Angelia (new)

Angelia (devilangel39) | 1 comments Shouldn't family be everything?


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1 comments For love I would sacrifice everything because without it, what is the point of living?


message 17: by Joan (new)

Joan (joanboose) | 1 comments Since I already have love, it is hard to choose what I would sacrifice. I have not found the acquisition of love to require a sacrifice and I'm not sure it is love if you have to sacrifice to get it.


message 18: by Angela (new)

Angela (Kia23) | 2 comments I would sacrifice my everything for love cause i know that, that person will love me in return. Love is all i need to be happy.
To love and to be loved!


message 19: by Maia (last edited Oct 08, 2012 01:21PM) (new)

Maia | 3 comments Ruslan wrote: "Eh, in my humble opinion I see no sacrifice in what Karenina did. She selfishly followed her infatuation with Vronskij. True sacrifice for love would be staying with her husband regardless of her..."

Doesn't a sacrifice for love imply that you're getting love in return? So if she sacrificed Vronski to stay with Karenin...she'd just be trapped and miserable, without love, without anything.


message 20: by Abenet (new)

Abenet | 21 comments Joan wrote: "Since I already have love, it is hard to choose what I would sacrifice. I have not found the acquisition of love to require a sacrifice and I'm not sure it is love if you have to sacrifice to get it."

Very intriguing and thought provoking line you wrote, "I'm not sure it is love if you have to sacrifice to get it." I've never thought about it from that perspective. I always viewed a sacrifice as an eventual gain of something better.


message 21: by Jenni (new)

Jenni I have sacrificed all of my wants and desires because of the love I have for my 4 children and I don't regret it for a second. They come first no matter what.


message 22: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Hopkins (httpgoodreadscomvicki_hopkins) Ruslan wrote: "Eh, in my humble opinion I see no sacrifice in what Karenina did. She selfishly followed her infatuation with Vronskij. True sacrifice for love would be staying with her husband regardless of her..."

Totally agree. Anna's husband was a respected and decent man that didn't deserve her unfaithfulness. Perhaps her affair awakened passions she never knew, but she knew what was right and wrong in the religious society in which they lived. She could have resisted and said no to his advances, but instead she didn't. I don't necessarily think the author's focus was upon the sacrifice she could have made for love. In the day and age it was written, it was more focused upon the outcome of selfish desires and the dire result of adultery, which in the end leads to death. By the time she had jumped to her suicide, her life was ruined by her actions. My humble opinion.


message 23: by Liliana (new)

Liliana (Liljana) | 1 comments Abenet wrote: "Not sure what I would sacrifice but I know I would not sacrifice my family in the name of love. In the end, family is all you have."

Before I read your comment I was thinking about different kinds of love, love for your husband, for your family, for your children. For these loves, I've sacrificed my life, meaning that for these loves/commitments I've given my life.


message 24: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Steckler | 1 comments I don't think you can judge what you would do until it happens to you. You can say "I'd never.." but being human, we are flawed. I so badly wanted her to go back to her son, but her obsessive love for Vronsky prevented her from it. She was so young when she marrried her husband, and she longed for passionate love like we all do. It was good that Tolstoy gave us Kitty and Levin for hope.


message 25: by Jack (new)

Jack I would give everything to be loved - and this story epitomizes the meaning of love.


message 26: by Glenda (new)

Glenda (glendarae) | 1 comments I adore this book. I get lost in it each time I've read it. Now having seen the trailer, I will see the movie, and I recognize the need for a soundtrack as I am reading it again!


message 27: by Anne (new)

Anne Fedarko (afedarko) I loved reading this book and I'm very excited about the film! I think that the passion that Anna felt for Vronsky was so utterly consuming and came at a time in her marriage/life when she was vulnerable to act on impulse. Yes, it was love, but her love changed as the novel progressed, and we saw that she despaired at the loss of her son. I know that if I were put in a similar position, I might act just as rashly for love. However, if I took time to consider that such rashness might ruin my relationship with my children I might try to keep the affair private. It's a good thing Kitty and Levin are in the novel– their story shows a more nourished love.


message 28: by Aileen (new)

Aileen (mamagorilla) I agree. Anna doesn't give up everything for love--she gives up everything for a passion that she believes she's supposed to have--the kind she reads about in those English novels she's always carrying around. The failure of Anna and Vronsky's big, Hollywood romance only highlights how genuine and mature Kitty and Levin's love is. A novel about Kitty and Levin's practical, if prosaic relationship would be boring--I think Tolstoy instead shows us the implosion of the grand passion so he can hold up Levin in contrast as the true hero who triumphs with a solid marriage.


message 29: by Emily Rabecca (new)

Emily Rabecca (northernbellebookworm) I can't wait to finish it and i can't wait for the movie!!!


message 30: by Jen (new)

Jen Beuning However dramatic it may sound, I would give my life for love. I have loved and lost, and would rather be dead if I could never have love again. After all, what is life without love?


message 31: by Judy (new)

Judy Bradley (jbafaith) | 1 comments Ruslan wrote: "Eh, in my humble opinion I see no sacrifice in what Karenina did. She selfishly followed her infatuation with Vronskij. True sacrifice for love would be staying with her husband regardless of her..."

I agree. Seems to me everything she did was about what she wanted. Love means caring for the other person first and honoring one's commitment to them whether it is what you want to do at the moment or not.


message 32: by Alexandria (new)

Alexandria | 2 comments For the sake of love, and love alone, I gave up my job, my home, my siblings and my life to move half way across a country into the arms of strangers. I built a new life for myself and have never regretted a moment I've spent with my love and my life here.
There is nothing to be lost in the pursuit of true love and hearts devotion. If I were in Anna's place I'd have ended up the same. Train and all.


message 33: by Chrissey (new)

Chrissey (chrissey67) I am more than halfway through the book and will be finishing it once I am done the book I am currently reading. The book so far flows through the story and I love the style of writing. I am very excited about the movie!
What is love without sacrifice...?


message 34: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 12 comments I would never be able to give up my family and sacrifice their love and tender regard for me for the sake of love because they mean so very much to me..except if the man lived nearby and didn't make me sacrifice everything and my family to be his girlfriend, then yes, I would do so.


message 35: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I was 24 when I first read this book, and I was torn between the feelings of horror and understanding. Now I'm 37 with an awesome husband and 3 beautiful girls, and the only emotion I have when I remember this book is horror.

Only force could take me away from my family. Besides, my husband meets my needs. I already have love.


message 36: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 12 comments Could I have by any chance a different name? because of my name is also Anna and it feels odd..so call me...Danielle instead...okay?!


message 37: by America (new)

America | 1 comments I know that I could never sacrifice my children in the name of love.


message 38: by J. (new)

J. (mamalaoshi) I think Anna gives up everything for sex, not love. True love is when you give up part of yourself unselfishly to strengthen, uplift, and nourish the people you love, and as you do that, love grows (as long as it's a healthy relationship, not manipulative or abusive). I've read that the typical "in-love" (the feeling of fireworks and adrenaline rush) experience lasts an average of five years. That is what Anna gives up her life for, that experience. I don't think anything is worth giving up for that.

But true, lasting love is worth giving up selfishness, self-centered desires. With my husband and children I have given up some things, like sleep, time to myself, career opportunities, but the love I get from them is so wonderful that those things I give up don't seem like much.

I recently read a book written about 100 years ago (a download from Gutenberg Project), can't remember the name. It's set in a lumber town and is all about a woman who is tempted to give up her husband and children for passionate love. But in the very end, she decides to stay and the very act of making that choice gives her a increase of love for her family. It reminded me of AK, set in the US.


message 39: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Todd (jewlee) | 6 comments A lot ....a whole lot but NOT everything....I would not give up....what she did (but then regrets ..) my child.
NOT MY CHILD NEVER!


message 40: by Shannon (last edited Oct 11, 2012 09:21AM) (new)

Shannon Proctor | 1 comments Too often people confuse sex and passion with love. Passion is such a blinding and intoxicating potion that it is too hard to resist after you've tasted it. You never what you might due under the influence of passion. But my child....NEVER!


message 41: by James (new)

James (angelsmith_3000) | 1 comments Maia wrote: "Ruslan wrote: "Eh, in my humble opinion I see no sacrifice in what Karenina did. She selfishly followed her infatuation with Vronskij. True sacrifice for love would be staying with her husband re..."

I agree! True, She would have remained with a comfortable lifestyle, but Anna was living in an environment that stifled her emotions. In my opinion she did make a real sacrifice for love, and while doing so, allowed herself to break free from the chains of the society she lived in.


message 42: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Todd (jewlee) | 6 comments PS....I would not give up my child ...NO. And in my life, I didn't.
We had a child, a girl child, I wasn't in love with him. But we married. Shortly after, 4 months to be exact, he went away for work, to provide for us. I took a visit to a friend's, North to New York state, and I fell in love...passion over head in love. Would do anything at any moment to be with him. However, even though I could have left the marriage and had this great passionate LOVE and took my daughter (35 years later now) I didn't ..because, because of her, my adorable daughter. My husband, her father, he loved us and was providing for us, at great sacrifice to himself, I STAYED.


message 43: by Rinji (new)

Rinji I don't really know what I would sacrifice. But I know it would not be my family at all.


message 44: by Marcia (new)

Marcia (maidmarcia) | 22 comments Maybe people are missing the point of the book, or maybe I misinterpreted it... What I took away from the novel was that Karenina sacrificed everything she had for lust, which in the end left her a broken down empty woman.

There is nothing about her adulterous relationship that speaks of love to me. Lust, sex, intrigue... all things that we may find intriguing once having settled down in what may be a boring or stultifying relationship. However, love isn't something that you immediately feel... it's a life long work of commitment, trust, sacrifice, patience, endurance... Anna exhibited none of those things.

Instead she behaved spontaneously and rather selfishly, taking what she wanted in the spur of the moment without considering the fall out of her actions. Readers should not forget that Tolstoy was a devout Christian who would be trying to send a message through this novel.

Just my two cents.


message 45: by J. (new)

J. (mamalaoshi) Marcia wrote: "Maybe people are missing the point of the book, or maybe I misinterpreted it... What I took away from the novel was that Karenina sacrificed everything she had for lust, which in the end left her a..."

It is interesting how people forget to read books without allowing their own 21st century views to overshadow the author's intent. I agree that Tolstoy was trying to show the damaging affects of adultery, yet in media today, adultery is so often glamorized... which is what I'm afraid the movie is going to do. I remember the 2004 movie Vanity Fair did that and totally twisted the theme of the book
Vanity Fair.


message 46: by Ms Bridget (last edited Oct 12, 2012 09:30PM) (new)

Ms Bridget (obridget2) I know I am NOT willing to give up my relationship with God or my children. They come first...Everything else is secondary in my opinion..And is sacrifice REALLY the right word for this? I guess it's a case by case situation...


message 47: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 1 comments Todd wrote: "PS....I would not give up my child ...NO. And in my life, I didn't.
We had a child, a girl child, I wasn't in love with him. But we married. Shortly after, 4 months to be exact, he went away for w..."


Wow that's an amazing story Todd. I guess in a way you sacrificed yourself for the sake of love for your child and to some extent her father. I hope you are happy as you deserve to be.


message 48: by Dee (new)

Dee Ben | 1 comments i seems to horrible to give up your family money i could give up but not family


message 49: by Natacha (new)

Natacha Pavlov (natachapavlov) | 9 comments I read the book last month and absolutely loved it. While I wouldn't be against sacrificing certain things for love, the way I see it is that adultery is wrong no matter how you cut it. The fact that she finds 'true love' (which is also questionable if you read the book) does not 'excuse' her from leaving her husband and son.

I also find it interesting that we have next to no information about Anna Karenina's life before her marriage. As in, if her husband was so repulsive to her, why didn't she wait for someone else more 'likeable' to come around?!

Definitely an amazingly complex novel to say the least!


message 50: by Marcia (new)

Marcia (maidmarcia) | 22 comments J. wrote: "Marcia wrote: "Maybe people are missing the point of the book, or maybe I misinterpreted it... What I took away from the novel was that Karenina sacrificed everything she had for lust, which in the..."

Yes, I very strongly agree with you and I'm relieved to find other people around here who feel the same way.

Before I began my first (and hopefully only) relationship, I also had a very secular and modern view of what being in a relationship entails. Sex was a very important thing to me and I didn't realize that there are so many more things.

Love is basically a constant growing, to me. It's not just, "oh I love you" and that's that. It's making the effort every single day showing love to someone even when you don't like it.

I know this is totally off topic, but I love this quote:

Do not think that love in order to be genuine must be extraordinary. What we need to do is love without getting tired. ~Mother Teresa

I hope more people are exposed to this book when the movie comes out and I hope that they receive the message that Tolstoy was attempting to send. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how the message will be conveyed in the new movie... From the previews I've seen, it seems to be showing Anna as going against repression and living free.

Freedom comes at a cost though. I hope that message is made infinitesimally clear.


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