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Author Study: Leo Tolstoy Curated by Grace Xu '19

Theme: There are few obstacles that love cannot overcome.


1) Dolly and Stiva 

Healing relationship after Stiva's affair

“All was confusion in the Oblonskys’ house. The wife had found out that the husband was having an affair with the former French governess, and had announced to the husband that she could not live in the same house with him.” (Part I, Chp. I, pg. 1)

2) Kitty and Levin

Levin making a second proposal 

“Levin himself, when he saw Kitty Shcherbatsky, realized that he had never ceased to love her; but he could not go to the Oblonskys knowing that she was there. The fact that he had proposed and she had refused him put an insuperable obstacle between them.” (Part III, Chp. XXIV, pg. 322)

“'If you love me as you say you do,' she whispered, 'make it so that I am at peace.'" (Part II, VII, pg. 139)


3) Anna and Vronsky

Overcoming social disapproval of relationship

“[Vronsky] would have let his hand be cut off sooner than allow himself a word or a hint that might insult her or fail to show her that respect which a woman may simply count on. His relations with society were also clear...he was prepared to silence the talkers and make them respect the non-existent honor of the woman he loved. His relations with the husband were clearest of all...The husband was merely a superfluous and interfering person.” (Part III, Chp. XX, pg. 305)