Anna Karenina Fridays – Week Six


This week for the Anna Karenina read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables, I read up to Part IV Chapter XVIII.  This week’s reading was quite revealing for me on quite a number of fronts.  This week, we got back more into the interaction between Anna and Vronsky, and Kitty and Levin.

While these interactions are important, and move the story along, what I feel is even more important are some of the things that are foreshadowed, and the evolution of Kitty, Levin and Alex Karenin.  One thing that I find particularly interesting in this week’s reading is the fact that both Anna and Vronsky have similar dreams.  Dreams that foreshadow death once again.  This instance isn’t the first in this book.  As we know, death was foreshadowed early on in the read-along with death at the train station when Anna arrives and first meets Vronsky.

This dream that both Anna and Vronsky have are indicative of later events.  Anna becomes quite ill and she prefers her husband Alex as opposed to Vronsky.  These events causes Vronsky to make an attempt on his life.  Given that in previous weeks’ readings, I saw a cooling of Vronsky’s feelings toward Anna that this course of action did take me by surprise.  This action demonstrated to me how much he clearly loves Anna, even though this relationship was definitely having an effect on his military career.  He truly felt he couldn’t live without her, especially after he thought he had lost her.

One turn of events that totally shocked me was the drastic turnaround in Alex Karenin’s outlook on his whole situation with Anna and her affair with Vronsky.  After his position in government was taking a turn for the worse, once he learned of Anna’s condition he immediately rushed back home, and had a change of heart.  He evolved to the point where he actually cared more for Anna’s feelings and well-being, and saw that was with Vronsky.  I truly enjoyed seeing how Alex Karenin evolved in this week’s reading.

One thing I’m beginning to truly appreciate with Tolstoy’s writing, and I even noticed this style in War and Peace a couple of years ago, is how beautifully he describes actions, scenes, etc.  It’s open, airy, and sometimes sunny.  I found the perfect example of this style of writing when Tolstoy explained the engagement scene between Kitty and Levin.  Tolstoy spared no expense in laying out this scene, it was quite open and full of happiness.  Just the wonderful description of the scene, the emotions, and the true love depicted in the scene.  It’s definitely the complete opposite of Dostoevsky and his style of writing, in particular in both The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment.

I’m truly looking forward to continuing this wonderful story!

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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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