Leo Tolstoy's novel, Anna Karenina, upon its release received a .
mix critical reception, with Russian critics either condemning.
or applauding the novel primarily on its views of Russian society. .
Thematically, the novel parallels its heroine's, Anna Karenina,.
moral and social conflicts with Constantin Levin's internal struggle .
to find the meaning of life. There are many others underlying themes .
which links the novel as a whole, yet many critics at the time only .
looked upon its critical view of Russian life. Henry James called .
Tolstoy's novels as "loose and baggy monsters' of stylessness, but .
Tolstoy stated of Anna Karenina ".I am very proud of its .
architecture--its vaults are joined so that one cannot even notice .
where the keystone is." That is absolutely correct, because within .
Anna Karenina, there exists many themes that are all linked together .
to create such a wonderful piece of work. Critics tend to miss the .
role that the theme of life and death plays in Tolstoy's Anna .
Karenina. Despite its apparent meanings, these two themes are .
intertwined in the novel and provides a backbone for some of the other .
existing themes. With a masterful touch, Tolstoy is able to use these .
two themes to show the characters in their true forms at both stages. .
The characters are shown to be living in a state of delusion, and as .
the characters find themselves at times of near death situations or on .
their deathbed, they are able to reveal themselves truthfully. .
Many of the characters in the novel are able to show their "real .
self" and at times of death, there is a point of reversal in the.
characters. This is most evident in the scene of Anna's near death .
experience during her illness. This event brings about a change in .
Karenin and even Vronsky as they trade positions. Karenin suddenly .
becomes human and not hidden from life by his administrative .
regulations. His carapace cracks, and he becomes drunk with sympathy, .