Monday, March 23, 2015

Tolstoy's Use of Trains

    On Thursday, March 19th, I attended Rosamund Bartlett's lecture on "The Modernity Of Anna Karenina." One of the main points Bartlett discussed was Tolstoy's use of trains to introduce modernity and industrialization. Russian railways were fairly new, with the first one opening in 1851. Tolstoy saw the trains as intrusive because they changed the landscape; but he used them with many themes, including death, in his novel. He wrote the novel after witnessing the autopsy of a woman who committed suicide by throwing herself onto the tracks. Similarly, Anna, in Anna Karenina, dies this way.

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