Leo Tolstoy Essays

Anna Karenina

Two clashing movements existed within Russia in the 19th century. In the rural areas existed a movement that could hardly be called a movement. It was, in fact, more of a planted fixture. The indigenous foundation that had existed for time...

Anna Karenina

The question of judgment and sympathies in Anna Karenina is one that, every time I have read the novel, seems to become more complicated and slung with obfuscation. The basic problem with locating the voice of judgment is that throughout the...

Anna Karenina

Constantine Levin, a hero of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, longs to discover some harmonious part of himself through experiencing the peasant way of life. He believes there to be something profoundly rewarding in the simple act of working as one's...

College

Anna Karenina

Facial expressions and body language communicate one’s intentions and emotions far better than words. Leo Tolstoy, in Anna Karenina, describes a plethora of physical descriptions, enabling the reader to more completely understand the characters’...

College

Anna Karenina

Sexual relations have different social implications depending on the society in which they take place. Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a 19th century novel and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Envy is a 20th century novel. Both novels portray the imperfect...

12th Grade

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is, in many aspects, a story of love and relationships. Two couples, Kitty and Levin, and Anna and Vronsky, find some form of love and passion throughout the course of the novel, yet their personalities determine the...

College

War and Peace

Over 1300 pages long, Tolstoy's War and Peace presents characters who disappear as quickly as they appeared. But every single one of them has a particular significance in the broader themes that War and Peace displays, whether that theme be love,...

12th Grade

Anna Karenina

“All happy families are alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (1.1.1)

In this famed first sentence of Anna Karenina, Tolstoy alludes to the two kinds of familial happiness, almost comically simplifying the idea of ‘family’....

12th Grade

Anna Karenina

In Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, tracing the muzhik image throughout the novel provides an insight into Anna Karenina’s psyche and subconscious. The peasant is encountered at the time of Anna and Vronsky’s first meeting, a wretched peasant crushed to...

The Death of Ivan Ilych

"It is as if I had been going downhill while I imagined I was going up. And that is really what it was. I was going up in public opinion, but to the same extent life was ebbing away from me. And now it is all done and there is only death."

--The...

The Death of Ivan Ilych

Ivan Ilych is dead. His death is hardly what one would call "mourned", and his family and friends think only of how they can profit from his timely demise. He has led a terrible life, and suffered through a generally meaningless existence. One...

The Death of Ivan Ilych

Tolstoy uses The Death of Ivan Ilyich to show his readers the negative consequences of living as Ilyich did. Ivan Ilyich made decisions based on what others thought and what would benefit him monetarily. As death approaches, Ilyich realizes that...

War and Peace

Throughout War and Peace, Pierre exhibits Tolstoy's ideals of passivity, humility, and passion. However, even Pierre succumbs to self-centered willfulness. He uses a highly contrived occult numerology and calculates the value of almost every...

College

Anna Karenina

Over 1300 pages long, Tolstoy's War and Peace presents characters who disappear as quickly as they appeared. But every single one of them has a particular significance in the broader themes that War and Peace displays, whether that theme be love,...