Women, Character, and Society in Tolstoy’s "Anna Karenina"

Document Type



English (Scripps)

Publication Date

Spring 1977


English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Fiction | Women's Studies


I am not the first reader of Anna Karenina to react with outrage and indignation at Tolstoy's treatment of Anna, nor will I be the last. Thus it may be instructive to consider why so many of us have felt the injustice of her fate, and why Tolstoy had to kill her. The purpose of this study is to explore contradictions and inconsistencies in Tolstoy's treatment of women and marriage in Anna Karenina, confusions which are the more remarkable in view of his understanding of character generally, and especially in view of his genius at portraying character in relation to society

Rights Information

© 1977 Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies

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