Anna Karenina is a classic novel written by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, and is regarded by him as his first true novel and by others as a work of art.
Summary Of The Book
Anna Karenina tells the story of a woman of the same name and her affair with a wealthy army officer. The story is set in 19th century Russia and simultaneously describes the lives of two aristocratic families from that era.
The book’s central themes are fidelity, jealousy, hypocrisy, lust, marriage and society. It begins with Anna’s brother, a Moscow aristocrat and civil servant, and the turmoil he causes in his own married life by being unfaithful to his wife. These themes are carried through the rest of the book as it describes the protagonist’s illicit relationship with Count Vronsky and the damage it causes to her life as she is condemned by society.
In parallel, we also take a peek into the life of Konstantin Levin, a Russian aristocrat. Levin is interested in marrying Kitty, the sister-in-law of Anna’s brother and an initial love interest of Vronsky’s. The book highlights his struggles as well as the life he leads on his personal estate.
The lives of the two central characters reflect the inherent consequences of city life and Tolstoy’s personal views. In fact, Levin is considered to be a take on Leo Tolstoy himself.
The novel has enjoyed popularity since the 20th century, after its first ever movie adaptation named Anna Karenine, which was directed by writer and director Maurice André Maître was released. There have been numerous other adaptations as well, including the 2012 film starring Jude Law and Keira Knightley.
A recent poll, that appeared in Time Magazine in 2007, which collated the opinions of 125 of the most popular authors in the world, declared Anna Karenina the greatest novel that’s ever been written.
About Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy has been touted as one of the greatest novelists of all time. His genre of choice was realistic fiction and he is known for reflecting his strong moral views in his novels.
Some of Tolstoy’s most popular novels include War and Peace, Sevastopol Sketches and a trilogy consisting of the books Childhood, Boyhood and Youth.
Tolstoy’s works have been hallmark of realism and he believed in using realistic circumstances and characters to convey philosophical principles. Many have appreciated his crisp style of storytelling and the way in which he offered insights into human nature in general. He was also firmly against traditional climaxes that have been a common trait of novels in general. An example of this is his popular novel War and Peace, as it begins during a conversation and ends with an unfinished sentence. His works are attempts to realistically convey Russian society and the state that it was in, during his life
Tolstoy was a citizen of Russia and was born in the year 1828. Other than being a renowned author of novels, novellas and short stories, he also served as a second lieutenant in the Crimean War. Later in his life, Tolstoy developed radically anarchist views and abandoned all his wealth and property shortly before his death in the year 1910.
This Article is Posted on 23 Apr 2015 in Entertainment Section and Books