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Anna Karenina


Anna Karenina Cover


Out of Print

Reading Group Guide

1. How are we to understand the epigram "Vengeance is mine, I will repay"? Should Anna's fate be considered the result of God's vengeance? Is Anna's desire to take vengeance on Vronsky being condemned?

2. When Vronsky first meets Anna, "it was as if a surplus of something so overflowed her being that it expressed itself beyond her will..." (p. 61). What is this something? Why is it expressed beyond her will?

3. Why is Anna able to reconcile Stiva and Dolly?

4. We are told that it is unpleasant for Anna to read about other people's lives because she "wanted too much to live herself" (p. 100). Why are reading and living placed in opposition to one another?

5. When Anna and Vronsky have satisfied their desire for one another, why does Tolstoy compare Vronsky to a murderer?

6. After telling her husband about her affair, why does Anna feel that "everything was beginning to go double in her soul" (p. 288)?

7. Why does Tolstoy counterpose Levin and Kitty's marriage with Anna and Vronsky's relationship?

8. Why does Levin continually imagine his future in such detail, only to have his actual experience differ from what he had expected?

9. What keeps Dolly from having an affair like Anna's, even though she imagines one "parallel to it, an almost identical love affair of her own" (p. 609)?

10. While explaining her affair to Dolly, Anna says, "I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself" (p. 616). Does the novel present these two objectives as compatible or incompatible?

11. Why, as she later admits to herself, did Anna want Levin to fall in love with her when she met him?

12. Why does Anna kill herself? Why does everyone and everything seem so ugly to Anna just before she does so?

13. Is it Anna herself or the society in which she lives that is more responsible for her unhappiness?

14. Why are the consequences of Stiva's adultery so insignificant relative to those Anna faces?

15. Why does Vronsky go to war as a volunteer after Anna's suicide?

16. Of all the novel's characters, why is it only Anna and Levin who contemplate suicide?

17. Why does Levin believe that he must keep the revelation in which he comes to understand faith a secret from Kitty?

18. Why does Tolstoy end the novel with Levin's musings about the nature of faith and his embrace of morally justifiable actions as the basis for the meaning of life?

Product Details

(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Tolstoy, Leo
Pevear, Richard
Volokhonsky, Larissa
Volokhonsky, Larissa
Pevear, Richard
Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich
Penguin Books
New York, N.Y.
Married women
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Penguin Classics Deluxe Editio
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.56x5.64x1.87 in. 2.01 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Anna Karenina Used Trade Paper
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Product details 864 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142000274 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Pevear and Volokhonsky...have produced the first new translation of Leo Tolstoy's classic Anna Karenina in 40 years. The result should make the book accessible to a new generation of readers....[S]ucceeds in bringing Tolstoy's masterpiece to life once again."
"Review" by , "The first English translation in 40 years, [this] Anna Karenina is the most scrupulous, illuminating and compelling version yet."
"Review" by , "Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have received honors for their translations...[this] contribution will doubtless be welcomed with equal enthusiasm. "
"Review" by , "Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have...retain[ed] the flavor of [Tolstoy's] unique voice."
"Review" by , "Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy's 'characters, acts, situations.'"
"Review" by , "At last, a version of Tolstoy's great novel that is neither musty, nor overly modernized, nor primly recast as a Victorian landscape. With their unusual fastidious precision for Russian contexts and modes of address, the prizewinning Pevear/Volokhonsky team has given us a pellucid Anna Karenina that speaks (as Tolstoy himself wished to speak) from within its own time, but for all times."
"Synopsis" by , Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this is the new English-language translation of one of the world's literary masterpieces. Includes an illuminating Introduction and explanatory notes.

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