Anna karenina
1 / 17

Anna Karenina - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Updated On :

Anna Karenina. By Lev Tolstoy. A Classic. Considered one of the world’s greatest novels At least nine film and TV film versions, plus theatrical dramatizations Opening sentence famous, frequently quoted: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Anna Karenina' - kalare

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Anna karenina l.jpg

Anna Karenina

By Lev Tolstoy

A classic l.jpg
A Classic

  • Considered one of the world’s greatest novels

  • At least nine film and TV film versions, plus theatrical dramatizations

  • Opening sentence famous, frequently quoted:

    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

  • Commonly seen simply as a novel about an extra-marital affair that ends in suicide (cf Flaubert, Madame Bovary)

  • In fact a complex interweaving of themes and characters

The product of its age l.jpg
The product of its age

  • Novel written and published from 1873 to 1877 in “thick journal” Russky vestnik (The Russian Messenger).

  • Journal refused the last part, so that the instalment version ended with Anna’s suicide. Refused mainly because of Tolstoy’s sarcastic depiction of the Russian volunteers going to fight in Serbia.

  • Definitive book version appeared in 1879.

Background alexander ii s reforms l.jpg
Background: Alexander II’s reforms

  • Period of rapid change in Russian society

  • Complication of the situation of the Russian nobility (дворянство)

  • The liberation of the serfs: the emergence of the future “kulaks”

  • The rise of a new business class – partly Jewish

  • The creation of zemstvos: local democracy

  • Railway as symbol of the new industrialized Russia in the making

Levin as tolstoy l.jpg
Levin as Tolstoy

  • Position of Tolstoy the conservative thinker expressed by Levin

  • Clearly autobiographical figure: shares details of Tolstoy’s own life

  • The invisible narrator-author shines through in Levin – cf Nikolenka in Childhood

  • Direction of sarcasm (e.g. description of Obolensky at the restaurant) is clearly felt by the reader to be that of Tolstoy.

Social changes reflected in plot l.jpg
Social changes reflected in plot

  • Opening sentence states the theme: happy and unhappy families

  • Polemic with the radical/nihilistic thinking about free love

  • The changing nature of marriage: Princess Shcherbatskaia does not know how to arrange her daughter’s marriage

  • Shifting social attitudes towards divorce and the family

More social changes reflected in plot l.jpg
More social changes reflected in plot

  • The clash of values: imported, Western values

  • French, English influence marked as negative

  • Hostility towards foreign languages

  • The question of faith: how can an educated nobleman believe the way the simple peasant believes?

  • The polemic with rationalism, Western social theories

Marriage among the upper class in the 1870s l.jpg
Marriage among the upper class in the 1870s

  • In transition from the arranged marriage, towards one based on love

  • Anna is in an arranged marriage (considered an abomination by the radicals)

  • The older couple Shcherbatskys almost certainly in well-arranged marriage

  • Why did Stiva Oblonsky marry Dolly? – For her money.

  • Officially the woman’s wealth remains her property in marriage

Divorce in tsarist russia l.jpg
Divorce in Tsarist Russia

  • Divorce is difficult and usually the result of fake evidence about who is “guilty.”

  • “Guilty” party loses parental rights

  • Tolstoy shows the hypocrisy surrounding extra-marital affairs and depicts the complicated procedures for divorce.

  • Does he disapprove or approve of society’s norms?

A paradigm of couples l.jpg
A paradigm of couples

  • Tolstoy creates a spectrum of couples in the text, who illustrate the varieties of relationships possible, and the outcomes.

  • The plot weaves back and forth from one couple to another.

  • Certain “affinities” are detected between individuals outside the couples: e.g.,Vronsky and Kitty, Levin and Anna

  • The real heart of the novel is the Anna – Levin – Dolly triangle

Spatial and temporal organization l.jpg
Spatial and temporal organization

  • Takes place from February 1872 to July 1876

  • At one point the time of Vronsky-Anna is over a year ahead of Levin-Kitty

  • Action shuttles spatially from place to place

  • Moscow – perceived as the good, patriarchal heart with true Russian values

  • St Petersburg: the centre of a cold bureaucracy with imported, foreign values

  • The Russian countryside

  • Western Europe: German spa Solden and Italian town

Slide12 l.jpg
Vronsky and Anna(Vasily Lanovoy from film by Aleksandr Zarkhi 1967 and Greta Garbo 1935 dir. Clarence Brown)

The adulterers l.jpg
The adulterers

  • Prime dramatic focus of the novel: seen intimately, right down to their emotions and dreams, but ultimately viewed from the perspective of Levin/Tolstoy

  • Anna is married to Aleksei Karenin, some 20 years older than her (NB Vronsky’s name is also Aleksei.)

Stiva and dolly obolensky l.jpg
Stiva and Dolly Obolensky

  • Stiva Oblonsky is Anna’s brother. Both were brought up by an aunt. Stiva is a bon vivant, and the novel begins with the news of his affair

  • Dolly is Kitty Shcherbatsky’s older sister.

  • Along with Levin, Dolly serves as one of the moral foci of the novel. She is the devoted mother of her children.

    (left: Aleksandr Abdullov as Oblonsky)

Levin and kitty l.jpg
Levin and Kitty

  • Levin’s first proposal is rejected because of Vronsky

  • The ritual of the second proposal and the wedding taken from Tolstoy’s own life

  • Kitty is a junior version of her sister Dolly: a coper and someone devoted to family values

Minor couples l.jpg
Minor couples

  • Nikolai Levin (Konstantin’s brother) and his common-law wife Marya Nikolaevna or Masha

  • Sergei Ivanovich Koznyshev (Levin’s half-brother and Varenka – to whom he nearly proposes.

  • Aleksei Karenin and Countess Lydia Ivanovna, who becomes his confidante after the break-up of his marriage

Lev tolstoy in 1873 l.jpg
Lev Tolstoy in 1873

The real drama in Anna Karenina: a strong virile man with a powerful sex drive, who is in conflict with his own puritanical outlook on sex. The book can be a seen as an attempt to come to terms with this contradiction.