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Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina


by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina Religion 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.

Quote #4

Countess Lidia Ivanovna kept her promise. She did actually take upon herself the care of the organization and management of Alexey Alexandrovitch's household. But she had not overstated the case when saying that practical affairs were not her strong point. All her arrangements had to be modified because they could not be carried out, and they were modified by Korney, Alexey Alexandrovitch's valet, who, though no one was aware of the fact, now managed Karenin's household, and quietly and discreetly reported to his master while he was dressing all it was necessary for him to know. But Lidia Ivanovna's help was none the less real; she gave Alexey Alexandrovitch moral support in the consciousness of her love and respect for him, and still more, as it was soothing to her to believe, in that she almost turned him to Christianity – that is, from an indifferent and apathetic believer she turned him into an ardent and steadfast adherent of the new interpretation of Christian doctrine, which had been gaining ground of late in Petersburg. It was easy for Alexey Alexandrovitch to believe in this teaching. (5.22.26)

Countess Lydia gives Karenin love and respect at a time when the rest of society gives him neither. Even though both her domestic help and her brand of Christianity seem to be dubious, Karenin relies on them both.

Quote #5

"I understand that perfectly," Levin replied. "One cannot put one's heart into a school or generally into institutions of that sort, and that is precisely why I think these philanthropic institutions always produce such meager results." (7.10.35)

Here, Levin is commenting to Anna on the value (or lack thereof) of charitable schools. We see again Levin's view that good works are only really meaningful if they arise from personal needs or emotional investment in a particular person or family. Do you think this view remains the same once he's had his religious transformation at the end of the book?

Quote #6

"That is, you mean to say that sin prevents him?" said Lydia Ivanovna. "But that is a false view. There is no sin for believers; sin is already redeemed" (7.21.46)

Countess Lydia believes that, once a person has accepted God as her savior, she cannot do anything wrong. This holds true because she believes that the moment a person accepts God, all of her sins have already been forgiven. What kinds of moral problems does Tolstoy find with this view?

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