Meaning Of Adultery In Tolstoy's Poetry

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“But I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery in his heart.” (KJV Matthew 5:28) By using this bible quote in “The Kreutzer Sonata,” Tolstoy re-evaluates the meaning of adultery. He conveys to his audience that adultery is so much more than the physical act of appeasing desires of the flesh. Through biblical references, the experiences of the characters Anna Karenina and Pozdnyshev, along with appropriate parallels, we understand that adultery starts from within the soul. According to the Random House Dictionary, adultery is a noun defined as the “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.” (Dictionary.com) Whilst this may…show more content…
Essentially, Tolstoy teaches his readers that adultery has two layers: the inner realm (emotional) and of course the external realm (physical). Meaning that the act of adultery consists of a cause and effect relationship. The physical act of breaking marital commitments is a direct product of the soul lusting for an individual from a third party. In a close analysis of adultery in his works, “The Kreutzer Sonata” and Anna Karenina, it is obvious that Tolstoy designates the subject as a matter of unclean hearts. “So then if, while (her) husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” (KJV Romans 7:3) This quote perfectly illustrates the character, Anna Karenina. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy…show more content…
The love life of Anna could be interpreted as something that’s beautiful yet ironic. She found some sort of happiness only to run into her demise. Perhaps she forgot that all that glitters is not gold. Anna fell in love with the idea of being in love. She wanted an emotional connection with someone. Vronsky brought the passions and desires that she sought. Too stubborn to take off her rose coloured glasses, she even goes so far to reconstruct her personality to match her lover. Focusing all her attention in order to be in Vronsky’s good graces, Anna paid no mind to her children, sought for ways to not have any more children, and flittered between a myriad of interests. Fundamentally speaking, Anna was becoming more of a man and best friend to Vronsky, rather than a sordid wife. Now caught in a scandal, Anna becomes a pariah. Sadly, Vronsky was the type of man to take on passions then cast them aside once he lost interest, like a bored child when a toy loses its novelty. In result, he becomes a stranger to Anna. No longer receiving the emotional support from her lover, Anna takes drugs to fill the void. Already on a self-destructive path, Anna gives Vronsky the ultimatum of his ‘love’ for her over his own mother. Evidently, Vronsky chose his mother and that was Anna’s final straw. “‘There!’ she said
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