by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Constance Garnett's translation in the "Quotes" section, but referred to Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation in other parts of the guide.
[Levin] did not consider himself wise, but he could not help knowing that he was more intelligent than his wife or Agafya Mikhailovna, and he could not help knowing that when he thought about death, he thought about it with all the forces of his soul. he also knew that many great masculine minds, whose thoughts about it he had read, had pondered death and yet did not know a hundredth part of what his wife and Agafya Mikhailovna knew about it [...] The proof that they knew firmly what death was lay in their knowing, with a moment's doubt, how to act with dying people and not being afraid of them. (5.19.2)
Levin feels the contrast between his intellectual knowledge of death and Kitty and Miss Agatha's emotional understanding of death. Why does Levin find that women have greater access to the natural world of life and death than he does? Why are certain figures in Anna Karenina – women, peasants, children – more natural than the male noblemen with whom Levin associates?
Running into the marsh, Laska at once picked up, amidst the familiar smells of roots, marsh grass, rust, and the alien smell of horse dung, the bird smell spread all through the place, that same strong-smelling bird that exited her more than anything else […] She had already begun a circle to find the place when her master's voice suddenly distracted her. "Here, Laska!" he said, pointing in a different direction […] She obeyed him, pretending to search in order to give him pleasure, ran all over the hummocks and then went back to the former place, and immediately sensed them again. (6.12.8)
Why do we get a scene in this chapter from Levin's dog's perspective? How does Levin's enthusiasm and skill for hunting seem to fit into this portrait of Levin as a natural guy? Can we make any comparisons between Levin's relationship with Laska and Vronsky's fatal episode with Frou-frou, his horse?