Realism In Anna Karenina

1470 Words6 Pages
Bertrand Russel, British philosopher, writer and social critic, once said: “The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible”. Is not it the best definition of realism? Perhaps it might seem pessimistic and exaggerated, but this is the essense. Realism is usually defined as an artistic method that highlights the importance of the vital truth in depicting social environment, relationships, life and the types of human characters that are shaped by it. In the eighteenth century realism was understood as a practical way of thinking and behavior which had nothing in common with „idealist” dreams. Romantics were the ones who had a tendency to depict an exceptional heroes in exceptional circumstances, framing…show more content…
It unfolds on a broad and complex social background. From the very beginning we plunge into the diverse layers of Russian society of the 1970s: the titled aristocracy, the higher bureaucracy, capitalists, peasants and servants. All this atmosphere immediately allows the reader of the novel to breathe the air of the era, entering not only the balls and secular salons, but also the cabinet of ministers who are engaged in “important” state affairs. There are people of different classes and backgrounds (50 characters altogether – each with his own face and unique character) and we hear their disputes on the most vital issues: Russia's development, women's emancipation, people's education. The noble society is of particular interest to the author. Showing the life of his class he sees all its shortcomings and approaches this issue critically, sometimes even satirically. Being an omniscient voice of the novel, he does not conceal his disapproval of Anna's actions and wants us to see how dangerous, painful and disastrous reality could…show more content…
It was as if a surplus of something so overflowed her being that it expressed itself beyond her will, now in the brightness of her glance, now in her smile.” (1.18.134) “Vronsky was a squarely built, dark man, not very tall, with a good-humored, handsome, and exceedingly calm and resolute face. Everything about his face and figure, from his short-cropped black hair and freshly shaven chin down to his loosely fitting, brand-new uniform, was simple and at the same time elegant.” (1.14.47-48) For many readers Anna Karenina became the embodiment of feminine charm and wit. It is not surprising that, wishing to emphasize the attractiveness of a particular woman, she would be instantly compared to the heroine of Tolstoy's work. Many ladies, not embarrassed by the fate of Anna, were eager to be like her. Tolstoy's description of Vronsky might seem rather simple, but this simplicity, if combined with visual details, helps us to grasp the image fully and build up a specific portrait in our minds. The scene of races is presented as an embodiment of immoral, absurd life, where a fierce struggle takes place. In addition, this scene provides a storyline of a catastrophic pace, depicting anxiety of
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