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 Part IV - Pages 353-435

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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Part IV - Pages 353-435   Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:12 pm

Discussion Questions for Part Four, Pages 353435

1. Now that you've gotten to know Vronsky a bit more, what do you think of him? Do you think he makes a good match for Anna? Why or why not?

2. Reflect upon Karenin's predicament. He can't easily divorce his wife, yet she has moved beyond the pale of his influence. If he were to handle the situation in a morally upstanding way, what would be his best course of action?

3. In Part Four, suddenly a lot of the consequences of infidelity come to light. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to put them into the novel so explicitly? What are his motivations for telling so much of Karenin and Stiva's stories?

4. What do you think of Stiva's final counsel to Karenin on pages 430432? Analyze ways in which this is similar and different from the counsel Anna gives to Dolly at the beginning of the novel on pages 6870.

5. We learn more of the things Kitty and Levin seem to have in common during this section. Do you think they make a good couple?

6. How do you feel about the details that surround Kitty and Levin's successful courtship? How is it different from the courtship earlier in the novel?

7. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Anna has a very close bond with her son Seryozha. Talk about what it means for her to leave him in order to be with Vronsky.

8. Discuss the conversation between Vronsky and Karenin on page 414. What do you learn about the two men in the course of it?

9. Think about the interesting, dreamlike passage after the race where Vronsky struggles with sleep on pages 41617. His "strange, mad whisper" is "unable to value, unable to enjoy; unable to value, unable to enjoy." What do you think this might mean in the larger context of his relationship with Anna or his life?

10. What do you think about Stiva's meeting with Betsy? How has your view of Stiva has changed throughout Part Four? If your view of him hasn't changed, how have his actions confirmed your initial
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part IV - Pages 353-435   Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:07 am

Section 4: Chapters 1-11:

Anna's inner turmoil is beginning to manifest itself outwardly. She is jealous and has quick mood swings, she invites her lover to her home, and is unmoved by him meeting her husband in the doorway. She begins to talk of death and dying and even mentions a dream of death.

SparkNotes makes a good point about Stiva's ability to let the party go on even in the light of the news that his sister will soon be divorced. Knowing the effect that extramarrital affairs can have, he not only is insensitive to the Karenin's situation, but is having another affair of his own.

I am glad to see that Kitty and Levin have a chance to talk and make up.
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part IV - Pages 353-435   Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:17 am

Section 4: Chapters 12-23:

Levin and Kitty reunite in a romantic and exciting couple of chapters. They embody passionate love and forgiveness, two re-occuring themes in this novel. I am curious what Levin is guilty of? Is it of 'loving' her sisters before her or something we don't know about yet??

Alexei Karenin throws us for a loop in selfless change. He goes to Anna, forgives her, offers her anything she would like, including him taking the blame in the divorce. His new attachment to the children and his forgiveness of Vronsky are also uncharacteristic of him.

Anna and Vronsky both appear weak in this section, both wanting to escape the situation of thier own making by death. They give into thier passion, and run away together at the end of the chapter. Neither of them seem to care about anyone else's feelings, Karenin, the children, etc. yet I am not convinced that they are acting out of a 'true love'. My view of both of them has been altered significantly, I am quite disappointed in them.
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part IV - Pages 353-435   Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:30 am

1. Now that you've gotten to know Vronsky a bit more, what do you think of him? Do you think he makes a good match for Anna? Why or why not?
What a weenie!! To cover his face in shame, to try to escape by suicide, to try to convince people it was an accident, and then to run away with Anna anyway! But at this point I am so mad at both of them, I feel like they are made for each other, and will lead to one another's demise.
2. Reflect upon Karenin's predicament. He can't easily divorce his wife, yet she has moved beyond the pale of his influence. If he were to handle the situation in a morally upstanding way, what would be his best course of action?
By the end of this chapter I have a new found respect for Karenin. He is trying to handle the dissolution of his marriage (now) in the best way possible, but the rules of divorce at the time don't allow for a no fault, walk away free divorce.
3. In Part Four, suddenly a lot of the consequences of infidelity come to light. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to put them into the novel so explicitly? What are his motivations for telling so much of Karenin and Stiva's stories?
I think that the parallel of the two stories, and the explicit details of the people involved show that this isn't necessarily a 'love story' but a story of life, and how all actions have consequences. In fact, we have seen very little happy and romantic details, except for through the kind and selfless couple of Kitty and Levin.
4. What do you think of Stiva's final counsel to Karenin on pages 430432? Analyze ways in which this is similar and different from the counsel Anna gives to Dolly at the beginning of the novel on pages 6870.
It is interesting that Stiva counsels Karenin on divorce, noting especially that happiness can only come from freedom. It is a contrast to Anna counseling Dolly in the importance of family and forgiveness. These talks seem to illuminate the hipocracy of both Anna and Levin, and cause the reader to feel more sympathy/empathy for Dolly and Karenin. I think we also see the cultural double standard for men and women.
5. We learn more of the things Kitty and Levin seem to have in common during this section. Do you think they make a good couple?
I think they are a great couple, and have been routing for them all along. They are both kind and selfless, their desire and expectations of marriage and happiness are the same. I loved the game they played to convey their feelings to one another.
6. How do you feel about the details that surround Kitty and Levin's successful courtship? How is it different from the courtship earlier in the novel?
I think that both characters have grown in the time that they were apart. They have had a chance to evaluate their lives, and what they want from the future. This proposal seemed to be based on a true desire for each other, not just a societal push to get married.
7. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Anna has a very close bond with her son Seryozha. Talk about what it means for her to leave him in order to be with Vronsky.
We hear that she has a close bond with her son, but as soon as Vronsky was in the picture, we see him less and less. I have to wonder at exactly how close that bond is, or if she was just attached to him when there was nothing else for her to do.

I may revisit 8-10
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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Re: Part IV - Pages 353-435   Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:35 am

1. Now that you've gotten to know Vronsky a bit more, what do you think of him? Do you think he makes a good match for Anna? Why or why not?

I think they are a great match, he is longing for a love and can't take her public and she is giving into her lust and can't publically have him too.

2. Reflect upon Karenin's predicament. He can't easily divorce his wife, yet she has moved beyond the pale of his influence. If he were to handle the situation in a morally upstanding way, what would be his best course of action?

I don't think there is a morally upstanding way to handle this. He is in a government post and popularity is part of rising to the top and he would have to give that up and he does unintentinally.

3. In Part Four, suddenly a lot of the consequences of infidelity come to light. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to put them into the novel so explicitly? What are his motivations for telling so much of Karenin and Stiva's stories?

I think that Tolstoy came from an unhappy life. His way of expressing this is through infidelity. He is not much of a romantic writer, so he runs through the courtships of the characters quickly except for the first part. That part was said to be exceptional by many. I'm sure it is because he took time to either research or think about romance.

4. What do you think of Stiva's final counsel to Karenin on pages 430432? Analyze ways in which this is similar and different from the counsel Anna gives to Dolly at the beginning of the novel on pages 6870.

5. We learn more of the things Kitty and Levin seem to have in common during this section. Do you think they make a good couple?

They do make a good couple. They both have been jolted by someone. They both are looking for the "love connection."

6. How do you feel about the details that surround Kitty and Levin's successful courtship? How is it different from the courtship earlier in the novel?

As stated before Tolstoy did a wonderful job in the first part of the book and as it progressed, I think he ran out of either inspiration or drive to make another romantic situation. I would think he would want to have it with Kitty and Levin. (Tolstoy is suppose to be Levin in this book).


7. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Anna has a very close bond with her son Seryozha. Talk about what it means for her to leave him in order to be with Vronsky.

Anna sold out her son for lust. I was really disappointed that she didn't just take him with her. He was apparently her lifeline at the time. She is appearing real shallow to me. She was not relying on Karenin to support her so whats the difference if she took off and left no forwarding address.

8. Discuss the conversation between Vronsky and Karenin on page 414. What do you learn about the two men in the course of it?

9. Think about the interesting, dreamlike passage after the race where Vronsky struggles with sleep on pages 41617. His "strange, mad whisper" is "unable to value, unable to enjoy; unable to value, unable to enjoy." What do you think this might mean in the larger context of his relationship with Anna or his life?

10. What do you think about Stiva's meeting with Betsy? How has your view of Stiva has changed throughout Part Four? If your view of him hasn't changed, how have his actions confirmed your initial
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Karen

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PostSubject: Re: Part IV - Pages 353-435   Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:46 pm

. Now that you've gotten to know Vronsky a bit more, what do you think of him? Do you think he makes a good match for Anna? Why or why not? I don't think either Anna or Vronsky are particularly stable, thus though they might care for one another, think the long term relationship would be doomed.

2. Reflect upon Karenin's predicament. He can't easily divorce his wife, yet she has moved beyond the pale of his influence. If he were to handle the situation in a morally upstanding way, what would be his best course of action?
It is difficult to have a morally upstanding divorce when one of the partners is having an affair. ana doesn't even see fit to cut the affair off, but wants to continue with Vronsky and basically have the upkeep of herself and her son by Karenin. the right thing would have been for her either to give up Vronky all todegether and stay with karenin, making the best of it, of leave quietly demanding nothing from Karenin. I did not see what course karenein himself could take that was really honorable. I guess, not using the son as a pawn would have been more ethical.
3. In Part Four, suddenly a lot of the consequences of infidelity come to light. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to put them into the novel so explicitly? What are his motivations for telling so much of Karenin and Stiva's stories?
I felt like Tolstoy was painting a picture of what was commonly going on in the upper echilon of russian families. he gave a view from the 'man' with the faithful wife with Stvia and then the 'man' withan unfaithful wife with Karenin adding the wide stories of Anna's feelings as the adulteress and Vronskys feeling as the man who led her astray. We saw a tiny bit of maria's lfife, te woman that levins was living with. Tolstoy does impress upon us at several intervals, the happiness of the peasants lives/marriages/parenting.

5. We learn more of the things Kitty and Levin seem to have in common during this section. Do you think they make a good couple? Yes. Neither person is bent on impressing ohers and as one of you guys pointed out, they had both been dumped which helps get your feet on the ground.

6. How do you feel about the details that surround Kitty and Levin's successful courtship? How is it different from the courtship earlier in the novel? I think they really understood one another this time around. They both knew they really wanted to be married and both felt that the other was a good match,

7. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Anna has a very close bond with her son Seryozha. Talk about what it means for her to leave him in order to be with Vronsky. Anna seems very self centered to me. Yes, her son was everything to her... Why? he husband was always gone. he was her entertainment. When Vronsky came along he offered more than childish entertainment.

8
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