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Archives > 1. Discuss the Epigram

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
How are we to understand the epigram "Vengeance is mine, I will repay"? Should Anna's fate be considered the result of God's vengeance? Is Anna's desire to take vengeance on Vronsky being condemned?


message 2: by John (new)

John Seymour Kristel wrote: "How are we to understand the epigram "Vengeance is mine, I will repay"? Should Anna's fate be considered the result of God's vengeance? Is Anna's desire to take vengeance on Vronsky being condemned?"

?? What epigram? That's a quote from the Bible.


message 3: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
Yes, it is from the Bible, Romans 12:19. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord and Tolstoy used it as an epigram for the book. Why did he choose this epigram? It could be that he is saying that you play at flirting with the men that belong to others you will suffer with jealousies yourself as in Anna's case. Is the author by using a verse from the Bible implying something that Anna's fate is a result of God's vengeance? There is a part of t he story that delves into forgiveness, Anna's husband's forgiveness of Anna.


message 4: by John (new)

John Seymour Interesting - that wasn't included in my edition.


message 5: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 1002 comments It is included in mine (an old-ish French paperback). I think Kristel touches the right point: Anna's husband, instead of using more compulsive and straightforward means of revenge against his unfaithful wife, uses his Christian values to decide initially to forgive his wife and to leave the adulterous couple in a state of limbo which prevents them to fulfil the type of relationship they wanted. Therefore, revenge was exacted by applying God-inspired means.


message 6: by Becky Lynn (new)

Becky Lynn My copy has it as well. And I do believe Tolstoy is implying Anna's (and Vronsky's) fate is a result of God's vengeance. She abandoned her vow before God as a wife and her son as well. She placed all her faith into Vronsky (a mere man) instead of God and once that was shaken it became her undoing.

I also agree with Patrick that Anna's husband used his Christian values as a means of revenge. It was really the only method he could come up with that wouldn't make him look bad. I got the impression, however, that his belief was not genuine and that his forgiveness was impulsive and only given because she was dying. When she didn't die he at one point regretted forgiving her.


message 7: by Pip (last edited Nov 28, 2016 11:53PM) (new)

Pip | 1481 comments Does this tie in with Levin's philosophy at the end when he decides that Christianity is, after all his soul searching, the right direction for him to live his life, but that each individual has to decide what is right and act accordingly. I know the quote is from Romans, but it sounds very Old Testament to me!


message 8: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 2078 comments Mod
This was not in my copy either but I agree with you all.


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