Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy
  • moral philosopher, notable for ideas on nonviolent resistance through his work
  • Anna noted for its scope, breadth and realistic depiction of Russian life
ANNA the Book

  • dual protagonists (Anna and Levin) - each of the novel's eight sections contains internal variations in tone: it assumes a relaxed voice when following Stepan Oblonsky's thoughts and actions and a much more tense voice when describing Levin's social encounters.
  • Much of the novel's seventh section depicts Anna's thoughts fluidly, following each one of her ruminations and associations with its immediate successor. This section, and, to a lesser degree, the rest of the novel, is one of the earliest examples of stream-of-consciousness literature. The stream-of-consciousness form would be utilized by such later authors as Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner.

Stream of consciousness

"Consciousness is always interested more in one part of its object than in another, and welcomes and rejects, or chooses, all the while it thinks" - William James ( taken from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/James/jimmy11.htm)

  • a literary technique which seeks to describe an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes.
  • characterized by associative (and at times dissociative) leaps in syntax and punctuation that can make the prose difficult to follow, tracing a character's fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings.
  • the speaker's thought processes are more often depicted as overheard (or addressed to oneself) and is primarily a fictional device.

Confessions of Tolstoy

  • Every time I tried to display my innermost desires – a wish to be morally good – I met with contempt and scorn, and as soon as I gave in to base desires I was praised and encouraged.
  • A dear old aunt of mine, the purest of creatures, with whom I lived, was always saying that she wished for nothing as much as that I would have a relationship with a married woman. 'Rien ne forme un jeune homme comme une liaison avec une femme comme il faut.' ("Nothing forms a young man properly like an affair with a married woman.")
  • For in the end what are we, who are convinced that suicide is obligatory and yet cannot resolve to commit it, other than the weakest, the most inconsistent and, speaking frankly, the most stupid of people, making such a song and dance with our banalities?

Anna herself

  • A common way to interpret Anna's tragedy, then, is that she could neither be completely honest nor completely false, showing a Hamlet-like inner conflict that eventually drives her to suicide.

The INNER conflicts:

  • she is guilty of desecrating her marriage and home, but is noble and admirable nonetheless
  • we are ultimately impressed less by Anna’s ideal attributes than by her passionate spirit and determination to live life on her own terms.
  • Anna is a feminist heroine of sorts, riding on horseback in an era when such an activity was deemed suitable for men only. Disgraced, she dares to face St. Petersburg high society and refuses the exile to which she has been condemned, attending the opera when she knows very well she will meet with nothing but scorn and derision.
  • Anna is a martyr to the old-fashioned Russian patriarchal system and its double standard for male and female adultery. Her brother, Stiva, is far looser in his morals but is never even chastised for his womanizing, whereas Anna is sentenced to social exile and suicide. Moreover, Anna is deeply devoted to her family and children, as we see when she sneaks back into her former home to visit her son on his birthday.
  • Anna’s refusal to lose Seryozha is the only reason she refuses Karenin’s offer of divorce, even though this divorce would give her freedom.

The governing principle of Anna’s life is that love is stronger than anything, even duty. She is powerfully committed to this principle. She rejects Karenin’s request that she stay with him simply to maintain outward appearances of an intact marriage and family.

Her exile from civilized society in the later part of the novel is a symbolic rejection of all the social conventions we normally accept dutifully. She insists on following her heart alone.

Anna’s insistence on the dictates of her heart’s desires makes her an unforgettable pioneer of the search for autonomy and passion in an alienating modern world.

Useful websites:

the entire novel can be found in: http://www.literaturepage.com/read/annakarenina-1.html


ok i have to compare this with Hedda Gabler.
i wanna go along the lines of INNER CONFLICT observed from both protagonists respectively (Anna and Hedda), as a result of their role in society and their personal beliefs.

gd luck...this is my assignment 1. so still can relax a bit.

sigh lots of work to do...have yet to complete 'life and obligations' post. no time.

guess everything is just weighing down on us now...everything that should have been done earlier, everything that should have been sorted out earlier. now is the point of accumulation. we were aware. we were prepared for this. but now that it has come, im falling under its weight, into a point of collapse.

yet i look around. people have more than what i have. sigh.

nvm sure can. step by step. small thing by small thing. things will always turn out just alright.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

the present

immersed within a thought, and then thoughts
why the redundancy? the decadance of youthful thought.
or is it?
we are all entitled to think
we are all entitled to feel, to hear, and to know

yet the more we experience these so-called human traits,
the more emotions we feel..
the more we contemplate these traits, the more confusion we generate for ourselves.

even this post - represents the saturation of all thought. after all we are but of a single mind.

is it fair to us? so much to think about, so little capacity to contain our emotions. yet to contain or not? why should we?

so much questions - from a seemingly confused and concerned mind.

i wish i knew all the answers to all the questions.
but then...what would then would the thrill in mysteries be? but do we need mysteries? how about a simple life where everything were to be revealed to us?
why all these questions?
why bother?

but we aren't satisfied to live life the way it is. then wouldnt it be better not to be able to think. or to feel but just think? but then we wouldnt be human.

my approach? just try to be positive. no matter how tough or hard the situation is...we have to try. after all, its our lives. its life. we fall, we pick ourselves up. we try again. we would often be discouraged, be lost...be depressed. but what can we do? we try.

sometimes trying isnt enough. but what else is there to it. this is the reality of life. we hate the fact. we despise it. sigh. the stir of life...it seems always churning up something, churning up emotions of people like yolks and whites refusing to mix. and once mixed, irreversible. the only way would be to either drink it down, or pour it away

AIYAH...just try lor. wake up everyday with a positive thought. with a goal to accomplish. its hard...but that's the best we can do. =)

alright im super super tired. probably not making one bit of sense.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

torn la...


why must i more or less always start my posts with sigh

today i was looking for my group member...
passed by her...
saw frm the corner of my eye, her head following my head as i walked...
was that all she could notice? was that all she could care to notice...

im really torn about it...this hair issue...
in the first place,
i think i've worked very very hard for the past few days, and some of december, to ensure that people taking part in the camp have a good time. i do remember that i have put in quite a bit of sweat and blood into it. all i needed was some understanding...its not as if im a rebel going to sch with it uncut again nxt week. i needed space to work this week...sigh.
i do remember reminding those who studying nxt year to be consistent, and those who just came in, encouraged them to stay. i think i've done at least this much for the sch.

torn between appreciation and self-worth
torn between rules and helping the school

thing is. yes i agree.
i am the leader
i am the role model
what i am, others will follow
if i do something out of line,
they will follow and do that something out of line
i accept it. it is my duty to obey, to set an example.

am i suppose to admit that i've made a mistake.
YES i have already admitted that. but what else could i have done during this week. everyday was 8.00p.m. when places of grooming have already shut down by the time i reached anywhere.

but by admitting it, perhaps i've already demeaned the work for the school that i've done for the whole week. by that one look at my head it shoots me in the heart, that for all i have done i am shot down by my hair, that my work has gone unappreciated, lost in the wind, and then an arrow shot at my heart.

so yes i have admitted, so it perhaps mean that i am a LOSER? i do things, i contribute to a school that i love so much and am so proud of? then yes i am a loser. i contribute for self-worth, it does not matter that it goes unappreciated after i've commited a sin.

sigh. you get what im saying. TORN indeed. what can i do. yes i was going to get it cut this sunday anyway, when i finally find some space in my schedule of the week.

but this issue...it raises questions:
  • by doing a whole lifetime of good, it takes one bad deed to demean all of it?
  • if i am doing it for self-worth...then why should i care if i get shot down, it shouldnt matter anyway. that is who i am...i dont need appreciation (you're gonna say that every human needs to feel appreciated? that is true, but by the relevant people, not by the whole world) but it still matters to me so much coz it got me in the HEART.
  • why dilemmas are so eminent in human life? i have arrived at the fact that it is due to OBLIGATIONS (kant) that has resulted in these inevitable dilemmas. its part of being human...then i dont wanna be human i guess. -.-

k la im quite confusing

i hate to be someone who always sees frm all angles of a situation

it makes it hard to make decisions

i hate to be caught in between, fulfilling a role, setting a standard, understanding that that is my job, and thinking that it is really unnecessary and that i shouldnt follow the standards simply because i dont agree with it.

i hate understanding everything, like the sacrifices i have to make to fulfil my role as a model for the rest to follow, and being and looking like some1 i wanna look. i even know that if i can set a gd example, there's no need for gd looks, because people will look up to you no matter what. but i cant decide. i cant choose. im caught in between...and i simply resent this fact

my apologies for this long post.

i hav rather confusing thots in my head...as always...sigh

i wish...i'd have some answers some day.





miss you guys already...could have been better...come again nxt year! i'll be your improved version 1b jit yew-the-ogl. lol. but we HAD FUN! which is a lot a lot more valuable that who i am or what i have done. and for that i am SO SO glad! =) see you all in school on mondae! go thank moonie ya? she really deserves it =D

haha kk tired le

rest i will

sorry if i sound emo or over-sensitive

does it help to say i am not over-senstitive because i am aware of what's happening to me at any given time yet not understand it? -.- confused again. gah. maybe im not...maybe im just thinking im confused. i cant believe it's so complicated. life is anyway.

TORN indeed.