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Archives > 3. Why is Anna able to reconcile Stiva and Dolly

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
Early in Part One, we meet the Oblonsky family in the middle of a very tumultuous situation: Stiva has admitted to his wife Dolly that he has had an affair after she found a letter revealing his secret. What are your first impressions of Stiva, Dolly and their household?

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/a...


message 2: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
I felt it was an accurate description of how such an event can cause problems in marriage and how they managed to make their way through the crisis.


message 3: by Becky Lynn (new)

Becky Lynn Like many marriages, if you're not careful, people get tired and comfortable and don't make a point to invest in their relationships. I can relate to Dolly and felt for her, having three small children of my own. It's exhausting.

And though I don't agree with what Stiva did, I understood his frustrations and still really liked him as a character.


message 4: by John (new)

John Seymour Becky wrote: "Like many marriages, if you're not careful, people get tired and comfortable and don't make a point to invest in their relationships. I can relate to Dolly and felt for her, having three small chil..."

Interesting. I despised Stiva as a man who was so invested in what he saw as his proper role in society that he bankrupted his family.


message 5: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
I liked that he stayed in his marriage. But other parts of his attitude was difficult to tolerate.


message 6: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1451 comments It was mentioned more than once how charming he was. His seeking after a government position only for the remuneration later in the novel, showed him in an unflattering light. At the beginning though, the situation showed how different it was for men and women. He was able to apologise and forget the devastation he had caused Dolly. I thought the way Dolly was described at this point was brilliant. Tolstoy seemed to be able to get inside female heads like no other male writer I have read.


message 7: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1451 comments To answer the question about Anna being able to reconcile Stiva and Dolly: Anna was Stiva's sister, so knew him very well. She was able to convince Dolly that she was the most important woman in his life and that she should forgive him. Anna, of course, as fatally unable to follow her own advice.


message 8: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 2064 comments Mod
I like Pip's answer about how Anna was able to reconcile them.

In terms of general impression of the marriage I thought Stiva a careless man, he was careless of his marriage, of his wife's feelings and of the position he put his children in.

Personally if I was Dolly I would have left him but that is under today's conditions and not the conditions of their time.


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