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 Part V - Pages 437-547

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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Part V - Pages 437-547   Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:13 pm

Discussion Questions for Part Five, Pages 437–547

1. Talk about the wedding. How were the customs then different from weddings today? What seemed familiar to you? Were there things that surprised or confused you—if so, what?

2. Now that Anna and Vronsky have fled to Europe, what do you think of them as a couple? Do you feel Anna has flourished now that she has love in her life? If not, why do you suspect she hasn't?

3. In Part Five, both Vronsky and Levin are described as being "not as happy as they expected to be." From what you know of them, do you think their expectations were realistic?

4. Discuss the way Kitty and Levin fight. How is their way of communicating different from the way Anna and Vronsky or Stiva and Dolly disagree?

5. How do you feel about the custom that would prohibit Kitty from visiting Nikolai Levin because of his relationship with Marya? What is your impression of Marya as a "fallen woman?"

6. Preparations for death play a big role in Part Five. Who do you feel handles Nikolai's final days well and who, if anyone, does not?

7. Talk about Chapter XX, the only chapter in the novel with a title. Why do you think Tolstoy titled this chapter? In what subtle ways do you feel this section is different from the rest of the book? Also, be sure to talk about how the chapter ends.

8. What is your impression of Countess Lydia Ivanovna?

9. We get a glimpse of Seryozha in this section. As a product of Anna and Karenin, in what ways does he seem similar to each?

10. The more you learn of Anna as a mother, what are your thoughts? What do you think about her attitude towards the baby, and how do you feel about her reunion with her son? If you are a parent, can you imagine making the choices Anna has?


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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part V - Pages 437-547   Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:33 am

Section 5: Chapters 1-16:

Both couples, Anna and Vronsky, and Levin and Kitty, are beginning to settle into thier relationships. They are experiencing some of the difficulties that come with new unions, and are getting to know their partners and what is important to them. Levin and Vronsky are both feeling antsy, not being able to work as they previously have done, and have trouble understanding the roles that their women play.

I like what SparkNotes has to say, that this section makes us realize that this is a story of more than just Anna sn her infidelity, but of relationships in general.
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part V - Pages 437-547   Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:08 am

Section Five: Chapters 17-33:

In this section we see Anna with her son. This is the first time that I have felt like she 'loved' him, in other scenes we just hear about it.
We also see Kitty care for Nikolai, and use some of the skills that she learned while at the spa. Levin seems to understand, in watching her, that there is much more to her than just a wife to fuss around his house.

Anna and Vronsky experience the worst of their humiliation, as they are scorned in public. Anna handles herself well, but we all see that there is no hope for them socially in Petersburg.
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PostSubject: Re: Part V - Pages 437-547   Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:28 am

1. Talk about the wedding. How were the customs then different from weddings today? What seemed familiar to you? Were there things that surprised or confused you—if so, what?
One of the things that I noticed right away was the similarity to the feelings that Tony and I had. He was so sure and paid so much attention to the service, hanging on every word, similar to Levin. I, on the other hand, like Kitty, don't even remember the words I was so nervous. I guess some things never change. The ritual of who steps on the rug first, as being the one 'to wear the pants' was interesting.
2. Now that Anna and Vronsky have fled to Europe, what do you think of them as a couple? Do you feel Anna has flourished now that she has love in her life? If not, why do you suspect she hasn't?
I think that Anna and Vronsky now have time to get to know each other in a real way. Before the 'affair' encompassed so much of their interactions, I don't know if they realized what it would be like together. Anna seems much happier in her life with Vronsky, but like before, there are many areas of life that aren't open to them. She has never gotten to experience the 'full package.'
3. In Part Five, both Vronsky and Levin are described as being "not as happy as they expected to be." From what you know of them, do you think their expectations were realistic?
I think that their expectations and the reality of married life was for them similar to everyone else in the world. As cliche as it sounds, no one knows what it is like to be married until you actually are. Learning about your partner, their idiosicricies, what is important to them, how to interact, how you feel about the finality of the future; aren't we all a little disillusioned at first?
5. How do you feel about the custom that would prohibit Kitty from visiting Nikolai Levin because of his relationship with Marya? What is your impression of Marya as a "fallen woman?"
I think that Levin tried to protect Kitty from being in a situation that she would find uncomfortable or difficult. The custom is based on the strong cultural values of marriage and propriety. I don't think that there is probably much difference in that, then in current day homosexual homes, or several generations ago mixed race homes. Marya being a fallen woman, shows us what may be in store for Anna. Marya is a caring woman that has gotten the bad side of a cultural deal, it is hard not to empathize with her.
6. Preparations for death play a big role in Part Five. Who do you feel handles Nikolai's final days well and who, if anyone, does not?
Kitty handles the care of Nikolai well, as she has had good practice at the spa. Kitty during that time grew as a person, and learned about death and people. Levin, who is struggling with his brother's death, is learning those lessons now. As a couple, they supported each other and the dying man well.
7. Talk about Chapter XX, the only chapter in the novel with a title. Why do you think Tolstoy titled this chapter? In what subtle ways do you feel this section is different from the rest of the book? Also, be sure to talk about how the chapter ends.
This section encompasses many of the themes that are recurring throughout the rest of the book. We see love, family, marriage, class, culture, money, death, isolation, desire, contempt, caring, sacrifice, forgiveness, life, future, finality. We see all of these themes come to a head in one climactic moment. We see that all of these things make up life, and without these things, we have nothing. I like that the chapter begins with Death and ends with pregnancy or new life, showing the ever evolving 'circle of life'.
8. What is your impression of Countess Lydia Ivanovna?
Lydia seems to be the woman who is always waiting in the wings for her moment of opportunity, to make fun of someone, to judge, to take advantage. She has snuck in Alexei's home while he is weak, though we know her motives, they are still unclear to poor Karenin.
9. We get a glimpse of Seryozha in this section. As a product of Anna and Karenin, in what ways does he seem similar to each?
He is both loving and forgiving. He is strong and ambitious, but clearly values family. I would be interested to see how he turns out as an adult.
10. The more you learn of Anna as a mother, what are your thoughts? What do you think about her attitude towards the baby, and how do you feel about her reunion with her son? If you are a parent, can you imagine making the choices Anna has?
Anna to me seems to be one of those people who is perpetually looking at the grass on the other side. No matter what she has, she wants the unobtainable. She loves her son more now than ever, but doesn't take advantage of loving her daughter.
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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Re: Part V - Pages 437-547   Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:49 am

. Talk about the wedding. How were the customs then different from weddings today? What seemed familiar to you? Were there things that surprised or confused you—if so, what?

I have to admit the only thing that really struck me was Kitty's behavior because he was late. He made it there didn't he. Is she a little brat or just a drama queen of the times.

2. Now that Anna and Vronsky have fled to Europe, what do you think of them as a couple? Do you feel Anna has flourished now that she has love in her life? If not, why do you suspect she hasn't?

As we see the grass isn't greener in Europe. She gets testy, he gets testy, when is it going to end. I am surprised that they have lasted as long as it has. They have both had many doubts and most of the time they work them out themselves without the others help. That is unusual.

3. In Part Five, both Vronsky and Levin are described as being "not as happy as they expected to be." From what you know of them, do you think their expectations were realistic?

I think Vronsky can't really expect much more. He has stolen someones wife. He shouldn't really have many expectations in the matter.

Levin on the other hand was a martyr of sorts (remember that Levin is the character created as Tolstoy). He took Kitty back with open arms after he was rejected.

4. Discuss the way Kitty and Levin fight. How is their way of communicating different from the way Anna and Vronsky or Stiva and Dolly disagree?

I really didn't pay much attention except that they did talk to each other, contrary to most of the other characters in this novel.

5. How do you feel about the custom that would prohibit Kitty from visiting Nikolai Levin because of his relationship with Marya? What is your impression of Marya as a "fallen woman?"

It is a stupid one. If she is a fallen woman, shouldn't she be helped by Christians in general?

I think Nikolai treats Marya well and she is content with that. I am happy that she somewhat has a little companionship with Nikolai.

6. Preparations for death play a big role in Part Five. Who do you feel handles Nikolai's final days well and who, if anyone, does not?

Constantine Levin is a whimp and Kitty, who had to fight to come with Levin is the compasionate one.

7. Talk about Chapter XX, the only chapter in the novel with a title. Why do you think Tolstoy titled this chapter? In what subtle ways do you feel this section is different from the rest of the book? Also, be sure to talk about how the chapter ends.

My book doesn't have a title.

This chapter was more spiritual.

8. What is your impression of Countess Lydia Ivanovna?

Countess Lydia, I think, is a golddigger. She wants to be around Karenin for some personal gain. We need to watch her.

9. We get a glimpse of Seryozha in this section. As a product of Anna and Karenin, in what ways does he seem similar to each?

He is respectful and that is from his father. He is loving and that is from his mother.

10. The more you learn of Anna as a mother, what are your thoughts? What do you think about her attitude towards the baby, and how do you feel about her reunion with her son? If you are a parent, can you imagine making the choices Anna has?

Anna is rejecting her daughter and I can't figure out why. Does she see this as a reminder of her infidelity. She lets her son go without a fight or an attempt to run away with him.

Interesting.
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Karen

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PostSubject: Re: Part V - Pages 437-547   Fri May 04, 2007 8:12 pm

1. Talk about the wedding. How were the customs then different from weddings today? What seemed familiar to you? Were there things that surprised or confused you—if so, what?
There was a lot more religious symbolism at levins wedding than at mine. i thought the story about the shirt was funny and in many ways contemporary. We have been to weeding where the ring was forgotten, the licnese was lost, the shoes were wrong and it seemed like an impending disaster to the bride and groom but it al worked out.

2. Now that Anna and Vronsky have fled to Europe, what do you think of them as a couple? Do you feel Anna has flourished now that she has love in her life? If not, why do you suspect she hasn't?
I think we see that their initial relationship was mostly a physical relationship and now that they have unending time withone another theary are becoming bored and miss parts of their prior lives that they did not give much creedence to at the time. i think they both seemed shallow . how about Vronsky and his comb over?

3. In Part Five, both Vronsky and Levin are described as being "not as happy as they expected to be." From what you know of them, do you think their expectations were realistic? see above

4. Discuss the way Kitty and Levin fight. How is their way of communicating different from the way Anna and Vronsky or Stiva and Dolly disagree? There is a real love between these two and there was of disagreeing allows for one anothers wek points and are forgiven and forgotten.

5. How do you feel about the custom that would prohibit Kitty from visiting Nikolai Levin because of his relationship with Marya? What is your impression of Marya as a "fallen woman?" i agree with brienne that it foreshadows what may be in store for Anna. marya was born in the lower class so it was REALLY looked down apon. But what do we know about her other than she lived with Nikolai and wasn't married to him. people don't refer to Anna as a prostitute even afer she left karenin. i thought it was weird that it was fine when she still lived with him and everyone in polite socieity knew about her affair and she was still welcome, but once she moved out to live with Vronsky she was 'dirty'.

6. Preparations for death play a big role in Part Five. Who do you feel handles Nikolai's final days well and who, if anyone, does not? Maeya and Kitty do wel in playing the roles of care giver. Nikolai is much like i think many of us would be in the event of a long drawn out death and levin felt guilty most of the time as well as helpless

7. Talk about Chapter XX, the only chapter in the novel with a title. Why do you think Tolstoy titled this chapter? In what subtle ways do you feel this section is different from the rest of the book? Also, be sure to talk about how the chapter ends.
i also liked the fact that the chapter began with Nikolais final moments and ended with Kity being pregnant.

8. What is your impression of Countess Lydia Ivanovna? She was a woman who made herself useful and rember that Karenin didn't particularly like her in his prior state but now feels she is a good person and confidant so who is using whom?

9. We get a glimpse of Seryozha in this section. As a product of Anna and Karenin, in what ways does he seem similar to each? I saw his mother in him but nothing of his father. Not unusual since his mother raised him and spent an inordinant amount of time with him.

10. The more you learn of Anna as a mother, what are your thoughts? What do you think about her attitude towards the baby, and how do you feel about her reunion with her son? If you are a parent, can you imagine making the choices Anna has?
there were references earlier that anna didn't relly like her son at times. She liked him best when he was about four. i feel bad that she is neglectful of her daughter. her mothering style does leave something to be desired!
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