Anna Karenina

What can be said about a classic? Simply that it was beautifully written. Its fluidity of expression made me glide across page after page without effort, relishing each sentence for its uncanny ability to express. I rarely come across a book that reads itself! Anna Karenina was all that and much more. It was a book that covered not only all elements of style, but of theme and characterization as well.

Anna Karenina covers the drama around Anna's life as she steps into a world of affairs and deception. Swept off her feet by the charming Count Vronsky, Anna, a married woman, finds herself moving away from all that she has known and into the life of a social outcast. We follow her through the initial deception, later revelation and final despair. Life is not all glamor and gold in the upper sphere - something we are shown through the eyes of the various characters. Side by side to this story, we have that of Kitty, a young unsophisticated girl who, rejected by Vronsky, finds herself questioning her choices and feelings of love.......

Anna Karenina fascinated me mostly because of its realism - or so I imagine life would be in the Russian upper class. I found myself drawn into the various scandals, behaviors and accepted norms of the society. The representation of the characters and their actions was satisfyingly realistic. You were sure that it could have happened in no other way. The emotions felt by Anna, by Vronsky, Levin and Kitty were those people in similar situations have felt and never been able to put into words. When you find an author who has the ability to express those intangible thoughts and feelings, reading becomes a pleasure.

As one critic puts it, "we do not judge: we watch".

2 comments:

Awais said...

This book is loooong. It took me a good bit of time to push through, and it was really difficult to stay engaged because the plot changes every chapter or two. There was so much switching back and forth between characters that I didn't have time to start caring about any of them.....

Sarah said...

Well, that is basically the style of novels in the Victorian era. The switching back and forth between different characters is what makes the novels so diverse. I actually found the novel fluid and easy to read :)