Anna Karenina: Foreshadowing
Throughout life there are situations which arise that seem to have been
hinted earlier. You might not have noticed the hint when it first appeared, but
suddenly at one point it finally dawns on you. The same goes for the literary
aspect of foreshadowing. The novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy has many
instances where the situations are similar to the one described above. The
following paragraphs will present the foreshadowing that is included in this
When Anna Karenina is met by her brother Oblonsky at the train station,
a scene arises that clues into a valuable part of the story. She had just met
Vronsky and as Anna and Oblonsky were leaving, a train personnel was hit by the
train. Anna burst into tears and exclaims that it is a bad omen. Her brother
calms her down but it is clearly evident that this part of the story gives an
inclination to the mess Anna ends up being entangled in.
Late one evening, the doorbell rings and Oblonsky goes and greets the
visitor. As Anna is walking to her bedroom, she glances over to see who had
called at such a late hour. She immediately recognizes it to be Vronsky and she
feels ‘a strange feeling of pleasure mixed with a feeling of vague apprehension
suddenly stirred in her heart.'( page 90)This tells of what may be the conflict
in the plot.
The day after the great ball Anna announces that she must leave. Dolly
expresses her gratitude toward everything Anna has done to help her in her time
of crisis. She tells Anna that she does not know of a person with a greater
heart. Anna tells her that Kitty was depressed because Vronsky spent the evening
with her. She exclaims that it wasn't her fault. Dolly remarks that Anna sounds
exactly like Stiva. Anna appears to be offended and says that she is nothing
like Stiva. In the end she ends acting similar to Stiva.
Kitty was quite depressed and Dolly knew what was troubling her. She
went to visit Kitty and told her that she was going through what all women go
through at one point in their life. Kitty told her that she was very unhappy and
expressed great sadness when Dolly mentioned Levin. Dolly then realized that
Kitty was really sad because she had refused Levin's proposal and now that
Vronsky had left her she was ‘now ready to devote her love to Levin'. ( Page
Clearly depicted in them paragraphs above, foreshadowing is present in
many key parts of the novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Perhaps this is
Tolstoy's way of telling readers to identify this element more often. Or maybe
he wants us to observe life in this literary view.
Novels cited: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Pages 90, 138.