Anna Karenina Author:Leo Tolstoy Like War and Peace, Anna Karenina is essentially a story of family life, and the background of the story is Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy's own home. It is not difficult to find a great deal of Tolstoy's own life in the story, and yet one of its outstanding characteristics is its objectivity. Running through the whole complex development are three st... more »ories: the tragic marriage which founders due mainly to the indifference of the husband, a more commonplace marriage where the man finds entertainment elsewhere, and finally, the happy marriage where the husband and wife are not only in love with each other but are brought ever more closely together by their mutual interests.
All the characters in the book are quite common people, with common faults and virtues; yet it is a sign of Tolstoy's greatness that he imprints them on our minds to such an extent that they become unforgettable. Tolstoy has given Levin many of his won characteristics and experiences. The love of Kitty and Levin is a reflection of the early years of Tolstoy's marriage. Like Tolstoy, Levin passes through widely fluctuating periods of faith and despair. Levin, echoing Tolstoy, arrives at a certain peace of mind when the peasant convinces him that each person must live not for himself but for God.
Tolstoy could not breathe life into Anna in the same way as he did with Levin, but it is a tribute to his powers of creation that she is, to the reader, just as real a person.« less