Day 1

Anna Karenina Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    What is meant by the first line of the novel, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way?"

    Readers commonly interpret this line to mean that happy families are all alike, and therefore boring, while stories about dysfunctional families make better novels. However, some students may present a different viewpoint. They may point out the Karenin family, at the beginning of the novel, appears to be relatively happy--and boring (but neither their happiness nor their boringness last for very long). In fact, the Karenins' marriage appears to be so boring that it is impossible for Anna to be happy within it.

    It may be worthwhile to revisit this...

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