Anaa Karenina I

Vronsky is of the World

How is Vronsky “of the world”?  Three instances answer this question.  The first comes during 1.17, when Levin expresses he believes Vronsky is not an Aristocrat when talking to Oblonsky, “A man whose father crept out of nothing by wiliness, whose mother, God knows who she didn’t have liaisons with…” (172).  Clearly, Vronsky is trying to perform one of the world’s favorite tricks, deception, by putting on a false image of his social class.  The next example of Vronsky’s worldliness is that he “felt the love which joined him to Anna was not a momentary passion that would go away, as society liaisons do, leaving no traces in the life of either one of them except some pleasant or unpleasant memories,” (183-4).  This is extremely worldly because it is rooted in emotion.  In fact, Vronsky “felt the love…” as opposed to “knew the love.”  The final instance of Vronsky being of the world occurs so numerously throughout the book: his love of material object, a common theme in the book of most of the characters.  One of the main examples occurred during the horserace, after Vronsky and his horse fell to the ground just before winning the race.  Vronsky, although not crushed by the horse, “to his dismay, he felt that he was whole and unhurt,” and “this race remained in his soul…as the most heavy and painful memory of his life” (200).  The fact that the pedestal that Vronsky put this worldly race (resulting in “the most heavy and painful memory of his life”) atop is greater than his mishaps with Anaa proves that his life is lost in the “lofts” of the world.

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