Friday, October 28, 2011

Anna Karenina: Week 3 of 12

My Thoughts on pp.142-210
  1. First of all, I couldn't stop at page 210--what a cliffhanger!  I had to know, so I read a few more pages. I'm beginning to seriously doubt how I'll be able to make this book last the rest of the year!

  2. Why is it that so many of the characters base their actions on public opinion?  Are we really like this and just don't realize it?  Or is this a facet of a high-profile section of society?  As one example, Vronsky's mother was pleased with her son's affair until she realized that it was looked down upon by others.  Tolstoy has a way of giving the reader information about a character (such as their thought processes) that the character himself isn't even aware of, which not only adds a bit of humor to the story, but also exasperation that the characters don't see what we so plainly see.

  3. I really enjoyed all the macho bantering in this section.  From the comment about Vronsky being on a low-carb diet: "he avoided starches and sweets." (p.175) to teasing someone about not drinking because of the calories: "Today I don't drink." "Why? So as not to gain weight?" (p.180) and most especially about hair loss: "You should get your hair cut, it's too heavy, especially on the bald spot." (p.180)  These fellows are funny.  Can't you just picture them?

  4. I'm so sad about Anna.  She seems to have let her emotions rule, making (of course) the wrong decisions.  She can't bear to talk seriously about the issue, and puts on this lightness that I totally understand but isn't doing her any favors.  She's working herself into a corner and it is so sad to see.

Quotes from pp.70-141
  • p. 147:  "Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed."

  • p. 174: The majority of young women, envious of Anna and long since weary of her being called righteous, were glad of what they surmised and only waited for the turnabout of public opinion to be confirmed before they fell upon her with the full weight of their scorn.

  • p. 176: Yashvin, a gambler, a carouser, a man not merely without any principles, but with immoral principles--Yashvin was Vronsky's best friend in the regiment.

  • p. 183: He was angry with everybody for their interference precisely because in his soul he felt that they, all of them, were right.

  • p. 200: For the first time in his life he had experienced a heavy misfortune, a misfortune that was irremediable and for which he himself was to blame. [...] But the memory of this race remained in his soul for a long time as the most heavy and painful memory of his life.


  1. Your point 2 is interesting as I think people do this all the time. Even on chat shows like Jerry Springer, people always say "everyone said that ...." and base their decision on it.

    And I think you should just read the rest of the book if you are enjoying it :P

  2. That's true, we do tend to go around and collect opinions in order to make our decisions. I think it's how Tolstoy writes about it that really highlights it.

    I'm trying to distract myself with other books & use AK as a reward/motivation to finish other silly is that? I may just need to let loose and finish the thing!

  3. Thanks for the great manga review!

    I will have to check this one out after your recommendation!
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