Tonya feels that she was born to make things simple and easy, while Lara was one to complicate matters. Discuss this.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Tonia's way of categorizing both she and Lara is really interesting.  Tonia brings out how there are some people who are predisposed to ensure success and efficiency, while there are others who can only find a semblance of happiness in complication and disruption.  Certainly, Tonia's analysis applies to Yuri and his love to both women.  A part of Yuri loves the safety and security that Tonia provides.  She represents the essence of the hearth and the power of domesticity.  Even though the family must move and live a life so radically different from their position of wealth, Tonia is determined to make things work for both she and her family.  It is here where she demonstrates herself to be a force of totality in a world where this is denied.  It is here where the man, Yuri, finds some solace, if only for a small amount of time.

Lara is not this.  For whatever reason, Lara's life is lived as one under complete complexity and obscuring any fully grasp of what is right. Perhaps her own violation at the hands of Komarovsky as a youth contributed to this, but her life's volatility and incapacity for stability is what defines her.  Not surprisingly, the poet part of Yuri is attracted to this because it makes for "great poetry."  There is a certain amount of torment, pain, and suffering that is intrinsic to loving Lara, and for this, Yuri finds the greatest amount of ignited passion and Romantic inspiration.  The "Lara" poems were written out of this.  The complications and disruptions that are such a part of Lara's life and her own capacity to love is what ignites the intensity of Yuri's own heart.  It is here where we see that Yuri possesses attraction and intensity towards that which will burn uncontrollably.  It is also the source of his own guilt that he cannot remain loyal to one who has been so loyal to him, feeding again the poetic intensity inside him.  In a social condition where poetry had been forbidden and the expression of art had been controlled by external forces, Yuri's love of Lara, encapsulated by Tonia's description of the differences in both women, might be as much a political and artisitic statement as it is a subjective one.

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