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 Part VIII - Pages 769-End

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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:24 pm

Discussion Questions for Part Eight, Pages 769–End

1. Were you surprised this part began talking about Sergei's book, after the dramatic conclusion of Part Seven? Talk about why you think the author made this choice.

2. Do you agree that even the death Anna chose was "mean and low?" (p. 778) What were your initial thoughts about how Vronsky's mother says he reacted to it? Did anything he says to Sergei change your opinion?

3. Vronsky says, "As a man, I am good in that life has no value for me." (p. 780) Do you believe this statement from him? Do you feel life ever held value for him—even while Anna and he were happy?

4. Talk about Levin's return to his land and his struggles to find meaning in his life. Was this something you could relate to? If so, in what ways?

5. How do you feel about the fact that Dolly and her children are now also in Levin's charge? How does Dolly's example as a mother affect Kitty and Levin's choices as parents?

6. As the book closes, war looms. Trace the ways each male character seems to use this impending crisis, and the new responsibilities he has in the face of it, to his advantage.

7. In the end, how do you feel about Levin's relationship with Kitty? Are they a happily married couple? Thinking back on the passage that opens the novel, would you think they are an example of a happy or unhappy family?

8. What do you think about the final passage, where Levin's ultimate life philosophy is revealed?

9. Go back through the book and find your three favorite passages—the ones you remember the most clearly. How did they touch you? How do you feel Tolstoy's writing relates to who you are and how you live?

10. Now that you've experienced each character's journey fully, which character do you feel you identify with most…and why?






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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:31 am

Section Eight:

All I can say about Section Eight is thank goodness for SparkNotes. I had a hard time understanding where this section was going and how it was at all intertwined with the rest of the story.
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:42 am

1. Were you surprised this part began talking about Sergei's book, after the dramatic conclusion of Part Seven? Talk about why you think the author made this choice.
I think that SparkNotes had some good ideas, that this section was added to encourage the reader not to just think of this as a novel about romance, and to encourage the reader to move on, past the death. I liked the book with out this last section better though.
2. Do you agree that even the death Anna chose was "mean and low?" (p. 778) What were your initial thoughts about how Vronsky's mother says he reacted to it? Did anything he says to Sergei change your opinion?
I did think that it was pretty mean to call Vronsky to her, to put him in a position to blame himself and then publicly and messily kill herself.
3. Vronsky says, "As a man, I am good in that life has no value for me." (p. 780) Do you believe this statement from him? Do you feel life ever held value for him—even while Anna and he were happy?
I think that he is at a point now that he doesn't feel the value of his life, but as the memory of Anna fades and he moves on with his life, he will see that there is still possiblity of happiness and meaning.
7. In the end, how do you feel about Levin's relationship with Kitty? Are they a happily married couple? Thinking back on the passage that opens the novel, would you think they are an example of a happy or unhappy family?
I think they are a happy couple, that is still figuring it out. He is a bit overprotective and she is a bit hasty in her decision making, but they are happy together.
8. What do you think about the final passage, where Levin's ultimate life philosophy is revealed?
I thought that the majority of last section was irrelevant.
10. Now that you've experienced each character's journey fully, which character do you feel you identify with most…and why?
Each character had very specific traits, and I think that it is difficult to identify with just one character. I think that this is probably especially true for women of our time. We have so many more freedoms and responisibilities and choices, it is difficult to tie down to one character. Also many characteristics parallel each other. Levin likes to work hard and takes pride in his work, but isn't considered ambitious and doesn't look for better ways to do things. Sergei is ambitious, but never grasps the idea of taking pride in his work. Anna searches for her independence and happiness, but always at the expense of someone else. Kitty and Dolly try to make others happy, but often at the expense of their own happiness.
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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Re: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:17 am

1. Were you surprised this part began talking about Sergei's book, after the dramatic conclusion of Part Seven? Talk about why you think the author made this choice.

I think Tolstoy wanted to put some of his passion for history in to the book. The major part of the book is done, the main character has died and he needed to end the book in a low key fashion.

I agree with Kelley though, I would have liked Part VII as the end. No epilogue.

2. Do you agree that even the death Anna chose was "mean and low?" (p. 778) What were your initial thoughts about how Vronsky's mother says he reacted to it? Did anything he says to Sergei change your opinion?

I don't think suicide is mean and low. Anna was apparently disturbed. Everyone else was being dramatic as the times in society would let. The society in general was very selfish and dramatic. I seem to use that word a lot, therefore, believe that the era was a little more "selfish."

3. Vronsky says, "As a man, I am good in that life has no value for me." (p. 780) Do you believe this statement from him? Do you feel life ever held value for him—even while Anna and he were happy?

I don't really feel that Vronsky felt that he really had any value. We really didn't get any description of Vronsky before the ball. We knew he was a career man, but that was it. He apparently went through many years without a wife so maybe he was just a playboy. He didn't even cherish his daughter Annie. That was quite odd that he just gave her up to Karenin.

4. Talk about Levin's return to his land and his struggles to find meaning in his life. Was this something you could relate to? If so, in what ways?

The meaning of life is the trigger that keeps oneself happy within. Levin came full circle with his feelings. He is back in the country and finally realized his meaning of life. He realizes that the potential loss of his wife and son was extremely horrifying. I was glad that he found himself.

I bet this was Tolstoy's dream too.

5. How do you feel about the fact that Dolly and her children are now also in Levin's charge? How does Dolly's example as a mother affect Kitty and Levin's choices as parents?

We see the strong bond of siblings (Dolly and Kitty). Levin and Kitty have time to look at Dolly's children and realize that they don't want to get in that situation where the children snowball into monsters.

6. As the book closes, war looms. Trace the ways each male character seems to use this impending crisis, and the new responsibilities he has in the face of it, to his advantage.

Pass

7. In the end, how do you feel about Levin's relationship with Kitty? Are they a happily married couple? Thinking back on the passage that opens the novel, would you think they are an example of a happy or unhappy family?

Their relationship has a strong bond of love. As Kelley stated in the past, the marriage goes through ups and downs and the strong learn from them. At this point in the novel, Kitty is the steady loyal one that is waiting for Levin to wake up. To have a strong marriage, it is give and take through the happy and rough times. Kitty supported her husbands "phase" that he was going through. I think that this is an example of a "happy" family.








8. What do you think about the final passage, where Levin's ultimate life philosophy is revealed?

9. Go back through the book and find your three favorite passages—the ones you remember the most clearly. How did they touch you? How do you feel Tolstoy's writing relates to who you are and how you live?

10. Now that you've experienced each character's journey fully, which character do you feel you identify with most…and why?
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:25 pm

Ha Ha!! "Pass"
I couldn't have said it better!!
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Karen

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PostSubject: Re: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Tue May 08, 2007 7:09 am

. Were you surprised this part began talking about Sergei's book, after the dramatic conclusion of Part Seven? Talk about why you think the author made this choice.
Yes I was surprised. tI seemed realy out of place and a let down. I was wanting all the loose ends quicklly and concisly tied up. He was never major character in my mind. I had to read Spark notes to understand why that was even discussed.
2. Do you agree that even the death Anna chose was "mean and low?" (p. 778) What were your initial thoughts about how Vronsky's mother says he reacted to it? Did anything he says to Sergei change your opinion?
No I didn't think of the death as mean and low. It seemed like a natural course of action if one was following the story from Anna's perpective. From the perspective of the others, I would have called it dramatic and attention getting. Vronsky's mother was only being spiteful and in her way saying i told you so, to her son.
3. Vronsky says, "As a man, I am good in that life has no value for me." (p. 780) Do you believe this statement from him? Do you feel life ever held value for him—even while Anna and he were happy?
I think Vronsky was a happy man before he met Anna and that he will someday be happy again. I was surprised he gave Karenin the custody of his daughter since he seemed to wish for children. he was just at a very low time in his life at that moment.
7. In the end, how do you feel about Levin's relationship with Kitty? Are they a happily married couple? Thinking back on the passage that opens the novel, would you think they are an example of a happy or unhappy family?
Ifelt they were a happy couple. They were going through ups and downs of early marriage. Kitty is not deep and will always be there for Levin who is much deeper. he values what she brings to the relationship and will catch himself when he puts the relationship at risk.
8. What do you think about the final passage, where Levin's ultimate life philosophy is revealed?
I thought it was an opportunity for the author to lay out his own position on the subject. I would rather have had a brief synopsis of each persons life after Anna's death, but then I was reading it for the story and not the more meaningful subtext. .
10. Now that you've experienced each character's journey fully, which character do you feel you identify with most…and why?
I identified with Kitty the most but I liked Levin the best. I liked how he identified with the land and the peasanats and in my own mind I am presuming he will get better at managing his land and be more equitable with those who work for him. I could not stand karenin from the beginning. the author made hime unlikeable in so many waysthat I felt it was right for Anna to leave him I just wish she had chosen a clean break from the beginning and there wouldn't have been all this mess.
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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Re: Part VIII - Pages 769-End   Wed May 09, 2007 3:03 am

Good Job Karen
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