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Anna Karenina
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Archived 2010 Group Reads > Anna Karenina 21: Part IV - Chapters 19-23

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message 1: by LynnB (new) - added it

LynnB **SPOILERS**

Obviously, being only half way through the book, Anna lives. She had sincerely repented and Alexy forgave her according to the story, but she still wants her own way. She cries and fusses, not wanting Alexy, but not wanting to be disgraced either. I really dislike her by now.

Alexy feels pinned in a corner with no good way out. I feel sorry for him in many ways. He has tried to do the right thing by his morals and feelings, but it is all going wrong.

Anna's brother, Stepan, visits to try to get a divorce agreement worked out, which Alexy agrees to. Meanwhile, Vronsky decides he is bound to renounce Anna and not stand between her and her husband...but when he hears that a divorce will be granted, all thoughts leave him and he flies to her. She voices concern about her son and husband. Vronsky is so self-centered that he can't imagine how, now that they can be together, she can even think of them. Vronsky retires from the army, Alexy is left alone with his son in Petersburg, and Vronsky and Anna (without benefit of divorce) go abroad. My, oh my...... I had never realized that Tolstoy was an early writer of soap operas!


message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen (jeninseattle) | 140 comments Lynn I'm with you. I feel bad for Alexi. He does seem to be the only one who is struggling with what is 'right' not selfish desires. This is an interesting conflict though. Had divorce been more readily available and culturally acceptable, would we have even had this book? Maybe that's part of Tolstoy's point in writing it?

Then again, I guess it's an exploration of the idea of getting what you want, and whether it's always everything that it's cracked up to be. Everyone is struggling here to get what they want, but it's never quite what they think it will be.


message 3: by LynnB (new) - added it

LynnB I guess that's an enduring human situation -- wanting something so badly, and then when it comes true, finding out it really wasn't what you wanted after all.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments These ideas are all very compelling, and so honestly true to the human plight. It's one thing to wish for something forbidden, but a very different thing to obtain it and 99% of the time, it will not be fulfilling the way expected and may lead to horrible downfall. So truly human.


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