Anna Karenina Fridays – Week Four


This week for the Anna Karenina read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables I completed Part II and read the first twelve chapters of Part III.  In this week’s reading, we changed tracks from talking about Anna to some of the other characters, such as Kitty and Levin.

The more interesting parts of the this week’s reading, was how Levin is dealing with the issue of what the point of life is for him.  I truly feel he is going through, not only some emotional issues from Kitty having turned him down, but a real crisis of identity as a result.  He truly begins to wonder if his life, as it currently stands, is something that really makes him happy and has purpose.  He’s trying to discover this purpose by performing various amounts of labor on his land and by interacting with the workers on his land.  These conversations bring him to a place of contentment.  As a result of this clarity, he actually begins to seriously consider renouncing his current way of life for a much simpler life where he feels he’ll get more out of life.

However, while he begins to come to some sense of finality with this decision, he meets up with Dolly and discovers information about Kitty that somewhat shakes up this new world view that he’s developed.  And after seeing Kitty en route to Dolly’s, he all of a sudden has a new sense of clarity and that love doesn’t disappear quickly.

Prior to these chapters on Levin, we learn more of Kitty’s goings on at the spa and her interaction with Varenka.  I truly feel that Varenka helps Kitty see that even though she has been scorned by one she felt she loved, there is still time to find one that returns her love.  I feel this interaction opens Kitty’s eyes to the point where she might be able to have some sort of reconciliation and find happiness in love, even though the path isn’t completely clear.

I think these chapters of Anna Karenina are more important than the main plot line to the message Tolstoy is getting across.  I believe one of those messages is the idea of being true to oneself no matter what transpires in life.  And the journey toward achieving that goal is fruitful, and shouldn’t be clear of obstacles and easy, as Levin’s interactions in this parts clearly portrays.

I’m not sure if that makes any sense, or is even a correct interpretation, but it could be plausible.

I truly enjoyed this week’s reading, and I’m really looking forward to discovering more of Tolstoy’s message in Anna Karenina.

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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