Disclaimer: This is not a book review. I’m just sharing my
rants experiences, feelings and thoughts on the characters and their actions. I’m a dentist. I don’t analyze books.
Good, was my first impression on the book. As far as I can remember, this one of the few books that can draw me into its world, watching scenes unfolding, conversations being spoken and characters animating inside my head. Imagining every single thing, the expressions, the gestures and the picturesque winter and spring in Russia.
For the record, I’ve already knew the plot beforehand. But I’m still reading it because, why not? Reading is a way of understanding(or not) without actually experiencing the events. Of course, being and living the moment is the best but you don’t want a cheating spouse aren’t you?
Anna is an insufferable idiot.
I’m a conservative. And I try my best to adhere to my faith, my religion. And proud to be one. As proud as a liberalist being a liberal. An atheist embracing atheism. I strongly against adultery. Not only from a conservative and religion point of view, but also as a mere human being, as a woman.
Feelings are unique. Love especially. We can’t choose to fall in love. It is similar to death. We don’t know who and when. We just fall in love and die. But as a human, we were given a talent called choosing, to choose how to act upon the discovered feelings. To choose to live honourably and die as one.
Anna was experiencing love for maybe the first time in her life. I do believe she loved her husband, Karenin, but it’s a platonic kind of love, out of respect for her husband, as a father of her son. Not the heart thumping, world spinning, butterflies flying, fire burning, intoxicating
you should see a doctor kind of love, as she did with I hate you Vronsky.
It’s not a sin to fall in love. A sin depends on how you act upon the feeling. Anna chose to follow her heart, consumed with passion, blinded by love and… cheated on her husband. Her refusal, faking nonchalance and ignoring Karenin when he tried to talk about her and Vronsky led to her own decadence.
As a retired relationship amateur, I believe communication and honesty are the fundamental, the basics of relationships. Anna was a strong woman. If she weren’t, she wouldn’t dare to have an affair at the first place. She went against the social norm during her time. However, she failed to be honest to her husband, to leave him and her son, to ask for divorce(she would later on). It’s like eating in a diner, eat first, pay later(bad analogy I know, but who cares?).
I understand, making decision to split is hard. But she’s having an affair anyway. It doesn’t make sense. Anyone, either a man or a woman, whether married or in a relationship, cheating is an utterly atrocious unforgivable disgusting behaviour. If it involves sex, it’s another level disgusting. Personally, I think if you found somebody else you love apart from your spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend, and you think you can’t live without that someone new, physically and emotionally, let your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend go. (Karenin refused to divorce later but that’s a different issue).
But of course, without Anna and adultery, this book won’t be Anna Karenina at the first place. There are many other themes and messages in the novel but I’m not going to touch on those. Maybe next time. Maybe. Or maybe not.
To be honest, I’m having a hard time now. Yesterday, I spent 10 minutes staring at the book, contemplating whether to continue reading or not. The book is good, no doubt. But I can’t stand reading Anna’s part. The only thing that kept my interest with the book is Levin.
On the other hand, I’m cheering for Levin, the Konstantin not his brother. Sigh. I’m a sucker for unrequited love stories.