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Summary of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The main theme of "Anna Karenina" is the exploration of love, relationships, and the consequences of societal norms on personal fulfillment.

Summary of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Summary of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The general idea of the book Anna Karenina

Love and passion: The novel examines the different types of love and the conflicts they create, including passionate love versus companionate love.

Social expectations: Tolstoy critiques the rigid social expectations of 19th-century Russian society, emphasizing the suffocating effect they have on individuals and their relationships.

Hypocrisy and morality: The book questions societal norms by highlighting the hypocrisy and double standards prevalent in society, particularly in matters of love, marriage, and adultery.

Fate and consequences: Tolstoy explores the consequences of one's actions and decisions, suggesting that individuals are ultimately responsible for their own happiness or despair.

About the author of the book Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy was a prominent Russian writer and philosopher, known for his realistic and psychological portrayals of 19th-century Russian society. He drew inspiration from his own life experiences and philosophical musings, weaving them into his novels to explore deep human emotions and societal issues. Tolstoy's own struggles with love, marriage, and spirituality greatly influenced his writing.

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Anna Karenina book chapters

  • "Oblonsky's Family" - Introduces the main characters and sets the stage for the novel's exploration of love, relationships, and societal expectations.
  • "Vronsky" - Introduces Count Vronsky, a charming military officer who becomes infatuated with Anna Karenina, leading to a passionate affair.
  • "Kitty" - Focuses on Kitty, a young woman who initially longs for Vronsky but ultimately marries Levin, a landowner. This section explores the contrasting notions of love and societal expectations.
  • "Anna" - Shifts the narrative to Anna Karenina, a married woman who embarks on a scandalous affair with Vronsky. This section delves into the consequences of their forbidden love.
  • "Levin" - Centers on Konstantin Levin, a wealthy landowner who struggles to find meaning and fulfillment in his personal and professional life. This section explores themes of spirituality and personal growth.
  • "Anna and Vronsky" - Further examines the destructive effects of Anna and Vronsky's relationship on their lives and the people around them, showcasing the consequences of societal judgment and internal conflict.
  • "Kitty and Levin" - Contrasts the tumultuous relationship of Anna and Vronsky with the stable and fulfilling marriage of Kitty and Levin, emphasizing the importance of genuine love and shared values.
  • "Levin's Spiritual Journey" - Follows Levin's introspective journey as he grapples with questions of faith, purpose, and the meaning of life.
  • "Anna's Downfall" - Chronicles Anna's descent into jealousy, paranoia, and despair, leading to tragic consequences.
  • "Conclusion" - Wraps up the various storylines and provides reflections on the characters' choices, the impact of societal norms, and the consequences of their actions.

Conclusions from the book Anna Karenina

Love can be both a source of great joy and profound suffering, and societal norms often hinder individuals from pursuing their authentic desires.

Hypocrisy and double standards prevail in society, particularly when it comes to matters of love and morality.

Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own happiness and must confront the consequences of their actions.

Anna Karenina book in relation to other books

"Anna Karenina" is often compared to other classics like Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" and Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" due to its exploration of similar themes such as love, passion, societal expectations, and the consequences of one's actions.

Anna Karenina book audience

The book appeals to readers interested in literary classics, 19th-century Russian society, complex characters, and profound examinations of human emotions and relationships.

The history of the publication of Anna Karenina's book

"Anna Karenina" was published by The Russian Messenger (Russkiy Vestnik) in serial form from 1873 to 1877. The first complete edition was published in 1878.


  • "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert: A French novel exploring themes of love, marriage, and societal expectations in the 19th century.
  • "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky: A Russian classic delving into the psychological complexities of a young man and his moral choices.
  • "Anna Karenina" offers a profound exploration of love, relationships, societal norms, and personal responsibility, highlighting the consequences individuals face when they deviate from societal expectations and pursue their desires.

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