Anna Karenina

Family and Happiness in Anna Karenina 12th Grade

Anna Karenina, an 1873 novel by Leo Tolstoy, is set in Russia. During this time, there were some Russians who disagreed with the Czar’s governing, which started to stir about the idea of communism. Going along with these radical social ideas in Russia during the mid 1800s, some people criticized the traditional family life, thinking that it limits people’s individual freedom, while others still supported it. This idea was new to Russia and contrasted traditional Russian beliefs up until this progressive period. Anna Karenina focuses heavily on this family debate. Throughout the story, many characters struggle with their family life; however, in the end those that choose to stick with family life prevail. That being said, one major theme in this piece is that life with a family leads to happiness. This theme is supported through contrasting the characters who disrupt family life and those who choose a family life.

In Anna Karenina, there are many characters who disrupt their family lives and as a result leave themselves or others feeling unhappy or angry. One example from the beginning of the story is the discord between Stivia and Dolly due to Dolly finding out about Stivia’s affair with their kids’ caretaker. Stivia’s act...

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