What is the cause of the tragedy of Anna Karenina in the famous novel by Leo Tolstoy? On this account, there are many points of view: there are those who think it’s all about the social conditions of that time, namely, the legal and social complexities of divorce and adultery a public reprimand; others say that the tragedy that Anna on her way have not come across a single person who supported her. We found out what they think about this therapist, priest and scholar. 

matrony_pic_30092016_3Svetlana Mardoyan, psychotherapist, existential analyst :

I recently discovered a novel, to refresh the memory of storylines and psychological aspect of the protagonists. I would like to understand something, Anna. Having read the text, I came to the conclusion that all the same Anna was hysterical personality – if we talk specifically about the personality structure. Emotional, quite blindly follow their feelings, Anna, to some extent reflects the spirit of the time when such behavior is not to be considered the norm, but was perceived as acceptable. But how to control his emotions, out of the question.

Thus, the entire life of Anna Karenina is based on primary, spontaneously occurring, psychodynamic emotions, it is not processed deeply, personally. Her infantilism, immaturity manifested inside not that she was going through these emotions, and that she could not cope with them. So there was a big, strong feeling for Vronsky.


Deeds and Vronsky’s inner world is also very interesting to analyze. Personally, I saw in it the absolute narcissus. He was raised by his cold mother, socialite just as the rose. Tantrums and narcissus – this, in general, is one of the classic combination of a pair, they attract each other. Daffodils because brilliantly looked after, put the entire world at the feet of the ladies, and hysterical love the attention and adoration. And Anne, like a butterfly, it attracted his admiration, gave herself to this feeling and followed Vronsky.

In part, it is really a victim of his time, because if their relationship happened a century later, it would be quite banal story. And while emotional, hysterical, infantile woman who did not have the experience and skills to understand their feelings and was not a loved one, which would it contain and, in modern language, give feedback, had no other choice.

At Kitty, for example, there was a family that supports it, maybe that’s why she recovered from her unhappy love. But for Anna it ultimately resulted in her death on rails. Throwing a train – is actually its last hysterical, affective action. What happened, what happened, but the conditions of the time are not created for the woman of the warehouse choice. Psychotherapy was not there. She had to somehow finish.

I will say a little more about what a hysterical personality structure. When psychologists talk about the hysteria, they do not have in mind only shouting and weeping women, no. Emotional lability (in the novel Anna is crying, then laughing), urinary emotions and show off – it just displays hysterical personality structure. Above all her property – the inner perplexity and inability to experience pain. Do not cry, and to bear his suffering. Being lost implies a lack of formed, mature I, internal structure, skill of quiet introspection, the ability to exercise wisdom and maturity.

But there is a caveat. Anna Karenina marries, a man who was older than her. Not bad, in general, a person, but rational, boring and, more importantly, it is not emotional. Due to the lack of contact with his feelings he could not give these feelings Anna, who, like all tantrums, lives and emotions which it is very necessary. Of course, any living person wants love, wants feelings, but tantrums are not able to manage their emotions. And when there is Vronsky, Anna who is willing to give these feelings, to win her attentions to live her emotions, she falls into this trap, the accumulated deficit of emotional breaks, and behold, it has no power over them.

However, the relationship with Vronsky at Anna as a result also do not add up. Why? Anna says that even with him she was lonely. Here is a “lonely” – it’s about the inner man alone, which, until a person has it, is filled by anything from the outside. Narcissus Vronsky could not give Anne that it truly filled, so she would not be able to take it to the fullest. Why? Due to its large internal deficits and lack of emotional connection with them, good mature contact with them. It’s about the “bottomless barrel effect”, when no matter how much you received, you still feel shortage still want more and more, saturation does not occur.

The attitude of Anna to their children also shows her as a hysterical person. The novel shows how Anna loves his son Sergei from a legitimate marriage and suffer from separation from them and at the same time completely indifferent to her daughter, whom she gave birth to Vronsky. Hysteric always split, forked, it can of the same child and to love, and to repel. If a person is experiencing a deep and really love their children, he loves them evenly, constantly, always. A hysterical one can love his child, and the other is not love. It is such a superficial and splitting, ambivalence.

Why Anna did not love her daughter? I have no ready answer, but I can speculate about it. With Karenin value and meaning of her marriage was a child, and your inner emotional deficit is partly compensated for Anna communicating with this child, she really was with him an emotional connection. And Vronsky, Anna did not see the purpose and meaning to give birth to a child, because she did not want to share his great feeling for Vronsky to someone the third. The child – a by-brand, so to say, a product of their passion. Therefore, she had no such joy from the birth of her daughter.

There is also a social moment: because a secular society condemned her for adultery, and the child – it is, so to speak, a direct proof of this treason. And if she had not become pregnant, it is unknown how would everything turned on. My daughter in a sense, become a hindrance in the life of Anna: she had to make decisions, such as to change their lives. Even her regret that she was full and ugly, the cause of which was the child – is also hysterical emotion, indicating superficiality.

To help fit only one way – to find themselves. Another thing is that to say “find themselves” in the circumstances at the time – this is pure theorizing, because then such a person as Anna, this would not have happened. Now therapists help grow out of infantile state, to become a more mature person. If Anna has passed this way, it would not go on relationship with Vronsky, knowing, for example, that she could not bear the consequences of this novel – separation, condemnation by society, loss of a child. In assessing the nature of her husband, knowing the consequences of betrayal, she would not have gone for it. Or suppose that would have gone, but then stoically have experienced all that it happened as a consequence of this novel. And when Tolstoy described premises finale seems logical.

To admit that Anna and Vronsky lived happily ever after, somehow not in the spirit of the characters themselves. Not in the spirit of Anne – rough, are not satisfied with what we have, and finding happiness that is. But where to go? Be killed – it is typical for the time. In today’s end would be different, I think, not so tragic.

matrony_pic_30092016_2Priest Ilya Shugaev, rector of the church of the Archangel Michael, the Taldoma the Moscow region, the author of “Once and for all life. Talking about marriage to high school students “ :

If you put the question that brought Anna Karenina to suicide – self-responsibility or Wednesday, which “devoured”, then, from a Christian point of view, the answer is clear: man is personally responsible for all his actions. Even when it works Wednesday, he is inner freedom to take this or that decision.

If after a few years of marriage, the first ardor of love has passed, and there is a connection tempted to side, it’s not a question of choosing between “love” and “dislike” – love in the momentary enthusiasm and can not be, as it appears and grows over the years thanks to the mutual efforts husband and wife in marriage. This is a question to manage their feelings and emotions. Can a person to manage their


feelings and emotions? Christian says yes. Of course, it is difficult to control the senses, but it is possible, and a lot of examples of this. This is evidenced by the entire Christian asceticism. Pushkin Tatiana in “Eugene Onegin” can manage their feelings. We need only effort on the part of man and God’s help. Anna as much entangled in their feelings and their lives and therefore explicitly commits sin, that is, an erroneous act (sin – this is an error), which leads to such tragic consequences.

matrony_pic_30092016_1Irina G. Mineralova, literary critic, doctor of philological sciences, professor of Russian literature, Moscow State Pedagogical University, teacher :

What a novel Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”? As the title of the book is made “Anna Karenina”, and not “problems of the epoch” or “Family in the 70-ies of the XIX century”, not “Karenina”, it means that the woman question is the most important. Epoch, which describes Tolstoy, very difficult, and not because the woman was then enslaved, but because more and more acutely the question arose about emancipation. However, when Tolstoy was asked what, in fact, he wanted to tell his work, he said that in order to explain it we would have to write a novel again. So they raised the question not only of emancipation, family problems of the nobility or a specific age problems. Tolstoy explores human nature, feminine nature, and poses the question: how in such a strong and vibrant nature to remain within the spiritual space?
Artistic means he decides to confront the question of flesh and spirit, flesh and soul. And this is not the “Madame Bovary”, “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert, without all the listed privilege in title … It is no accident in parallel Anna Karenina, Tolstoy gives the image of a horse Vronsky – Frou-Frou. If you read carefully, as it describes Anna and how he describes the horse, you can see the ongoing parallel writer. But the nature of the beautiful animal and human nature – it’s not the same thing. The question of nature and animal nature of man, created in the image and likeness of God, tormented Tolstoy more than other issues.

Another U-turn – this, of course, the internal dialogue of Tolstoy and Pushkin, with his “Eugene Onegin”, it Tatiana, who “given to another and will never leave him.” In “Anna Karenina” Tolstoy as it prescribes a continuation of the story: what would make a different choice Tatiana. As we remember, Tatyana Onegin gives rebuke, whereas Anne saying, first of all, the flesh, or, perhaps, not only flesh, but nature. This nature leads Anna. It is extremely impulsive. Yes, she fell, but then if you are crowning, you Drinkers cup to the dregs – and the joys and hardships. However, the era is that Anna does not want to (and probably can not) to humble his nature to those already inscribed God’s Providence. But even after the desire to live with Anna and Vronsky satisfied and, apparently, it is possible to live by the inclination of nature, love, nevertheless, leaves. The passions that raged will always leave, and that then will return?

Today, these issues may be, it is even more acute, because the media and modern literature offer live just by nature, the needs of the flesh, not realizing or with society – public opinion is now generally few people care about, or with a sense of internal debt. Yes, there is such a thing as a passion, but there is a debt to the person with whom you are connected not only by some written document, but also the establishment of God, and finally, your child, which you can cause suffering.

How to make so that family harmony reigned? What is the way out of this situation? Tolstoy was tormented all the time, this “idea of the family.” Karenin in the novel is not an angel, but Vronsky no angel, and therefore, the choice of Anna is not between “good” and “bad” man, but between his own ego and family salvation. And to be the savior of the family, a woman must be the inner core.

Alas, already in this era, in the 70-ies of the XIX century, a sense of internal debt, which should be the norm, ceases to be the dominating. A decade earlier Ostrovsky writes, “Storm”, and Dob calls Katherine “ray of light in the darkness.” Today, when we read this work, we marvel Given: how is this ray of light ?! If you are crowning, if you love her husband, where you rveshsya family for the first that fell? Who is to blame? From Katherine family went really love, but I do not justify it for a minute. If you are crowning, you can not do that – you are responsible for a person with whom the crowning you in front of him in response.

Even Anna Karenina may still be somehow justified because she is in love with Vronsky, but Caterina then rushes to the first comer. In its history, and there is no question of a real faith in God – it solid superstition poetic perception of the world, infantilism. Tikhon shouted: “Is that you, Mama, she was killed.” You could say that. But in fact, not entirely so. That was the era who liked to shift the responsibility to the environment, saying that “environment devoured.” But where are you somewhere in this environment? You’re also a part of the environment! But this understanding even then somehow goes.

Turgenev “Fathers and Sons” she says saving thought a family, and every destruction detrimental to women in the first place. Anna wants to live feelings. She is sincere it sensual and passionate. But what would be of high intelligence you are, no matter how thin mental organization may possess, if you say a passion, it will destroy you. Passion can not live long. Passion should be a natural attraction, but one that is not confined to love.

Vronsky, too, passionate man. It is, of course, fascinated by Anna, he wrote a portrait of her (though not only) – and this is an interesting and important point, which the author explains the psychological movement of the characters. He admires her. But this admiring comes to an end, it is tiring. Passion comes, mesmerizing, envelops, separates man from the rest of the world. But when the world comes to some sort of harmony, this passion may seem unnatural, false, even false, and the person may be ashamed that it suddenly flashed a strong voice of the flesh. Tolstoy said that if you go only after his passion, the abyss opens.

Today, this issue seems particularly acute. It would be nice to every girl to talk about it, especially when it comes to the chosen one. Talk to her and to warn: “Do you know that will not always be like today, when the love? And then the time will come when you’ll have to give and to sacrifice some own interests and feelings. And not just to donate and give in, but to find joy in this, because you do it for your loved one. ” Passing through the trials and temptations, like the heroine of fairy tales are …

Love – it is also a victim, the victim and joyful. Not always and not everyone can immediately understand, because this is still need to grow. Sacrificial love is the example of the Savior who forgives so much to everyone that a man dies – that’s the image that is given to us. Family – a small church. If we understand this, and if it is instilled in the girl – this one, and if it is suggested that you are a princess, and a man, a husband should always serve you, it is quite another. Remember, Igor Northerner: “It was by the sea, where the delicate foam …”? Queen sniskhodyaschaya to a page. If we instilled these values over which openly mocked ironic Northerner, then we can not educate a woman and a wife.

If we talk about the image Karenina, it seems to me that he was the least guilty in this situation. It is what it is, he’s not hiding and not pretended to be the perfect man, and after the wedding has become a monster. Not at all. If the blame on him, then we are back to the point of view of “devoured environment”. On the other hand, the person looking after the man who was the lawful spouse, it is, of course, different people. But marriage – it is always a matter of two. Both build relationships, both still make this piggy bank, both are responsible for what these relationships eventually become both equally share the joy and misery. No matter how we characterize negatively Karenina and its requirements, it is still ready to adopt a child from Anna Vronsky, and forgive her everything. He can forgive – she does not want to! It still says the flesh. So you can certainly draw his caricature, as in the Soviet film director Alexander Zarkhi, but it is possible and to draw a caricature.

Interestingly, Anna loves her son Sergei, and not like a daughter. Still, the children – it is the fruit of love. And, apparently, the fruit of Anna passion to love more, but Tolstoy says otherwise. Apparently, the thing is that it interferes with a child this young passion, gives Anne inconvenience, makes pay attention, that she would like to give only Vronsky. And it shows her as a selfish nature.

Anna has a strong internal conflict: it can not reconcile a duty and passion, the love of a child with a love for Vronsky, it is not man of integrity, as opposed to Tatiana. This is an internal disorder, it is invisible in the scolding her soul. She can not hear your voice of conscience, the thread connection with God that could save her.

But the purpose of Tolstoy, of course, there was no condemnation of Anna. He who is without sin, let him first cast a stone, remember? Anna to be pursued, the other, more impartial than we are. This novel was not written to condemn anyone, but to understand ourselves. Like Flaubert: “Madame Bovary – it’s me,” This is a kind of psychological training for everyone – both women and men.

Tolstoy reflects not only on the fate of women, but also on the fate of children. It is no accident, he wrote “Anna Karenina” when engaged in Yasnaya Polyana school and children’s issues. Anna decided to withdraw from life, leaving children in this world who are spiritually and vitally connected with it. But her son Sergei, and her daughter will make from your childhood? Say what you like, when that happens in the family, it is scrapped and a large wound, even if it zarubtsuetsya over time. Therefore, this novel is also about women’s responsibilities towards children. In general, the “three deeds God requires of man: the feat of faith, love, feat, exploit labor” – just a nothing more can be said … And the most natural things are a feat for which we are not capable of. Perhaps now more than ever the importance of this conversation. Talk about a way to happiness …