Anna Karenina

Category: Anna Karenina
Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
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The novel opened up to an implication of the strife in the Oblonsky household. There was an atmosphere of confusion as everyone was concerned about the discovered sexual affair of the Master of the house with the French governess. The wife of Prince Arkadyevitch Oblonsky (Stiva) did not leave her room and it showed how the situation evident with how everything has been going wrong.

Examples were given to prove establish the confusion and the mess of the situation like the children going wild all over the house, how the house helpers were quarrelling, the man-cook quitting his job and others who were threatening to do so.

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Stiva woke up on the leather-covered sofa in his study without having to realize that he was not sleeping with his wife until he reached for his dressing gown that was not where it should have been, within arm’s reach of their bed. After which, he remembered his current predicament. The setting in this scene how a marital dispute can affect so many people and how more marital disputes can stir the course of the following events in the novel.

Kitty’s big night, the ball, was narrated to be a dream-like event where she was to go down a “great staircase, flooded with light and lined with flowers and footmen in powder and red coats (Tolstoy Part 1, Chapter 9).” The sound of the orchestra can be heard. Women and men were wonderfully dressed, expensive fabrics and vibrant colors filled the ballroom as people started to waltz on the dance floor.

This shows how Kitty, at the start of the novel was naïve in a way as she saw so much romance in the night and how she loved social gatherings like that night’s ball. The setting described the vibrancy and excitement Kitty felt before she found out that Vronsky, the man she loved, fell in love with Anna, the woman she adored.

The description of the ballroom and the atmosphere was further elaborated with describing how perfect everything was with Kitty, from her hair, to her dress to her shoes, only to come to a huge turning point wherein she sees Vronsky’s affection for another woman.  The description of how exquisite Anna looked that night, added much weight to the twist that was about to take place, it made Vronsky’s admiration for Anna like a harder slap on Kitty’s face.


The major theme in the novel was about society and family. The second part of the novel gave much emphasis to solidifying this theme through different instances wherein Anna was reprimanded or placed in a bad light because of a foreseen case of infidelity.  It was important for families to stay together, more so during their time as women who are divorced loose a lot of ground in society, while the men do not loose as much.

There was one instance wherein the text showed how Anna had three sets of friends in the Petersburg society.  There are those who belonged to the circle of her husband’s colleagues that seems to serve merely as acquaintances with the family.

Another set was concerning the friends in Countess Lydia Ivanovna’s circle that Anna soon disliked greatly and the last set was one with Princess Betsy Tverskaya who was the wife of her cousin.  Each set of friend offered much of their opinions about how Anna changed and often gossiped about her and her husband Karenin.

Alexey Alexandrovitch, Anna’s husband, only saw fit to talk to her wife about her behavior with another man upon realizing that others are already gossiping about them. The confrontation was indifferent for both of them and their relationship changed but they stayed together to avoid any societal conflicts.

When Anna and Vronsky made love, it was obvious that Anna was distraught as to the consequences of her actions with society and how it will affect his family, even her son.

When Vronsky fell of his horse during a race, Anna could not contain her emotions in public. This had shown her improper affection for Vronsky.  She cried as she was so worried about him. Instead of being jealous about Anna’s obvious feelings for another man, Karenin simply warned her to be careful about how she reacts in public and showed how he valued his social stature more than he did his actual relationship with his wife.

Even after Anna admitted his relationship with Vronsky, Karenin was more preoccupied with protecting his honor. During that time, it has established how people were more concerned about the opinions of society and how they maintain a clean image in public.


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Anna Karenina. (2016, Jun 08). Retrieved from

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