Anna Karenina

Society: A Murder Weapon 12th Grade

Nothing exists to hinder an individual's pursuit of happiness besides the shackles built from the expectations of others. Societal norms become ironclad laws, and those who do not accept these constraints often find themselves lost, ostracized, and abandoned by their peers. Society’s current obsession with social media, as well as the U.S. election of a president whose rhetoric propagates the marginalization of minorities, have created a constant need to conform to an accepted persona of the in-crowd and secure validation from others. These restrictions have weighed down individuals since social groups were formed. In Leo Tolstoy’s novel of literary realism Anna Karenina, Alexei Vronsky and Anna Karenina attempt to escape the social climate of late 1800’s Russia to carry out a love not accepted by the public. Although Anna’s beauty and grace seem to put her above her deprecating society, the skewed judgements and sexist expectations of her peers influence almost all aspects of her life and eventually lead to the loss of her social standing and the demise of her affair with Vronsky. By demonstrating the impossibility of sustaining a relationship simply through love, Anna Karenina highlights the inescapable implications of social...

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