In Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Anna is betrayed several times. Who betrayed her and why?What do we know about her teen years and before?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Anna Karenina the biggest betrayal hasĀ been that her definition of love is simply a fantasy that she had tried several times to bring to life. However, each time she tries to bring it to life it dissolves into the same thin air from where the fantasy came to be.

We know that she married young, and that Karenin would have been one of her many ideas of escapism from her reality. She did have hopes and dreams to have a great romantic life, but Karenin was the epitome of dullness. She then became betrayed by her fantasy for the first time.

When Vronksy came into play, she also developed a form of furor for him that came as a result of his insistence. We know, however, that Vronsky himself was infatuated (and not in love) with Anna, and that would be the second betrayal to her ideal love.

Even when she still tried in Part 7 to develop feelings for Levin, she was perhaps trying to make it possible one last time: To have another go at love. It did not happen either.

When Karenin took the children away, when her letter did not make it, and when society turned her back on her entirely she also felt betrayed, although she did have more than enough causative factors to be turned against.

In the end, when she took her own life, she felt as if she had been the betrayer, but mostly that she had betrayed herself with her lack of reality, and with her tendency to superficiality in love and life.

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Anna Karenina

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