Thursday, March 26, 2015

Anna Karenina form a Historical Perspective

Attending the lecture given on March 29th by Dr. Bartlett on the modernity of Anna Karenina did a lot to tie together one of my favorite novels with the Russian Empire class I am currently enrolled in. One of the most notable connections is the emancipation of the serfs by Alexander II as a part of the Great Reforms and Levin’s participation in the zemstvo. Having read the book before knowing anything about Russian history, this was always perplexing to me. After learning about it in class and hearing it tied to Anna Karenina, the novel takes on a new relevance. Since the novel occurs primarily after the emancipation of the serfs, Levin has to deal with issues that every landlord was facing at the time, making it a very modern novel for its time and relatable to its readers at that time. This is one of the most important modern aspects of Anna Karenina.

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