SAMPLE EXCERPT:

He always described them to be complete characters and personalities as men were, indirectly mentioning about their equality with men, but at the same time he insisted on the preservation of family values and other principles of the national Russian character.

The events of the novel were the reflection of the social changes of that epoch, of Russia in 1870 ies. It was an epoch when the old half-feudal relations were broken and they were changed and substituted by new bourgeois relations or relations of free market. In the life of the contemporaries of that epoch everything was "massed up and unclear," not just the financial perspectives of future country's development but the moral norms and principles as well. And Tolstoy should the true picture of the elite society describing upper classes of two Russian major cities St. Petersburg and Moscow, pointing that the most natural human senses were distorted and disfigured by the elite society of hypocrites. Karenin for example was a cold, careful and indifferent person, but still he was able to forgive Anna and was able to forgive Vronski. Vronski at the same time was not able to understand the generosity and the nature of Karenin's forgiveness and that's why he despises Karenin. But was Karenin's forgiveness sincere, if he was not able to love sincere and make his wife happy, so his forgiveness may seem to be the display of religious hypocrisy.

Did Tolstoy propose any solution for this problem? He tried. He compares the elite society of Petersburg to the landowner Levin, whose family relations were based on mutual trust with his wife Kitty. But Levin is not idle, he worries about the situation in the society and doesn't like the way of life in Russian society in general. He wants to change something both in economics and in morality, but it's obvious that he would fail. He glorifies the life of common Russian peasants, sees the future in general education and reforms and is close in his views with first Russian revolutionists "narodniks" who educated common peasants. But we understand that he would do nothing. In the character of Levin, Tolstoy described himself, even the last name Levin sound like his full name: Lev Nikolaevich and described his social and moral views. But giving the vivid picture of relations of heroes and describing their inner world, the author loses in giving a credit to the ideal life of Russian peasants. The works of other writers as Dostoyevsky and Turgenev show the pointless of Tolstoy's utopist theories as well as the course of history showed senseless of it.

Does a novel have any feminist features? Yes, if we can call Anna a feminist. She was just struggling for her right to be happy, but she remained to be faithful to her high moral principles and her tragic death is a good proof to it. We see more feminism in the description of behavior of some ladies of elite society, in particular case in the description of Vronsky's mom. Those ladies being resourceful, were faithful only to their personal interest in life and had personal life which more immoral than Anna's behavior. We cannot consider Anna to be a true feminist, as she has a different nature. And as I have noted before, Tolstoy stands on the principles of equality in the family but equality based on Christian principles that are described in Levin's family life.

Even though that Anna dies, the moral principles of good triumphs over hypocrisy and vices. May be it's not obvious in the noble but it's obvious as we finish reading the novel. It was the core purpose of the author to show this personal tragedy relate it to social events and give the reader the right to make the conclusion.

Source:

Tolstoy,…