Anna Karenina Book Summary, Characters, Analysis, Leo Tolstoy


What is the summary of the book Anna Karenina written by Leo Tolstoy? Information about the summary, characters and analysis of Anna Karenina.

 Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

“Anna Karenina” is a novel written by Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1877. The book explores themes of love, marriage, family, social class, and morality through the lives of its characters.

The novel tells the story of Anna Karenina, a married aristocrat who falls in love with Count Vronsky, a young and dashing military officer. Anna’s love affair with Vronsky threatens to destroy her marriage and reputation, while also causing turmoil in the lives of those around her. Meanwhile, another story line follows the moral struggles of Konstantin Levin, a wealthy landowner who grapples with questions about the meaning of life and his place in the world.

The novel is also notable for its vivid portrayal of Russian society, particularly the stark contrast between the privileged lives of the aristocracy and the struggles of the peasantry.


“Anna Karenina” is considered one of Tolstoy’s greatest works and is often cited as a masterpiece of world literature. It has been adapted into numerous films, plays, and operas, and continues to be widely read and studied today.

Book Summary

“Anna Karenina” is a novel written by Leo Tolstoy that explores the themes of love, marriage, family, social class, and morality through the lives of its characters. The novel is set in 19th century Russia, a time of great social and political change, and tells the story of two parallel love affairs, one between the married aristocrat Anna Karenina and the dashing Count Vronsky, and the other between the wealthy landowner Konstantin Levin and the beautiful Kitty Scherbatsky.

Anna Karenina is a beautiful and well-respected aristocrat who is married to Karenin, a government official. She has a young son, Seryozha, and is admired by many in society. One day, while traveling to visit her brother in Moscow, she meets Count Vronsky, a young and handsome military officer who immediately falls in love with her. Anna is initially resistant to Vronsky’s advances, but she finds herself drawn to him, and the two begin a passionate love affair.

Meanwhile, Konstantin Levin, a wealthy landowner, is also grappling with questions about love and marriage. He has been in love with Kitty Scherbatsky for years, but she has turned him down in favor of the charming and wealthy Count Vronsky. Levin is devastated by Kitty’s rejection and sets out to find meaning in his life through his work on his estate and his philosophical reflections on life.

As Anna’s affair with Vronsky deepens, she begins to question her marriage to Karenin and her place in society. Her love for Vronsky causes her to neglect her duties as a mother and a wife, and she becomes increasingly isolated from those around her. When Karenin discovers the affair, he offers Anna a choice: she can either end the relationship with Vronsky and remain in her marriage, or she can leave him and be ostracized from society. Anna chooses to leave Karenin and begins a new life with Vronsky, but she soon finds that her relationship with him is not as fulfilling as she had hoped.

Meanwhile, Levin struggles to come to terms with his feelings for Kitty and the meaning of life. He begins to find solace in his work on the estate and his contemplation of religion and philosophy. After Kitty rejects Vronsky and realizes that she has been in love with Levin all along, the two finally come together and marry.

As Anna’s relationship with Vronsky deteriorates, she becomes increasingly unstable and paranoid. She becomes convinced that Vronsky is having an affair with another woman and spirals into a deep depression. Eventually, she takes her own life by throwing herself in front of a train. Vronsky is left alone and devastated by her death, while Levin and Kitty find happiness and meaning in their marriage and family life.


Throughout the novel, Tolstoy provides a vivid portrayal of Russian society and the stark contrast between the privileged lives of the aristocracy and the struggles of the peasantry. He also explores the tension between individual desires and societal norms, and the consequences that come with straying from established societal roles and expectations. The novel is considered one of Tolstoy’s greatest works and a masterpiece of world literature, and it continues to be widely read and studied today.


“Anna Karenina” features a rich cast of characters, including:

  1. Anna Karenina – The beautiful and intelligent wife of Karenin who falls in love with Count Vronsky and begins an affair with him, leading to social isolation and personal turmoil.
  2. Count Alexei Vronsky – A young and dashing military officer who falls in love with Anna Karenina and begins a passionate affair with her, which ultimately leads to his own personal tragedy.
  3. Konstantin Levin – A wealthy landowner who struggles to find meaning in life and love, and grapples with philosophical questions about the nature of existence.
  4. Kitty Scherbatsky – A beautiful young woman who initially rejects Levin’s advances in favor of Vronsky, but eventually realizes her love for Levin and marries him.
  5. Alexei Karenin – Anna’s husband and a government official who is deeply hurt by Anna’s affair with Vronsky, but ultimately offers her a choice between ending the affair and preserving their social status or leaving him and being ostracized from society.
  6. Princess Betsy Tverskaya – A wealthy and influential society figure who encourages Anna’s affair with Vronsky, but ultimately turns against her when she becomes a social pariah.
  7. Sergei Alexeyitch Karenin – Anna and Karenin’s young son, who is caught in the middle of his parents’ marital struggles and is ultimately left without a mother.
  8. Dolly Oblonsky – Kitty’s older sister, who is married to Oblonsky and serves as a supportive friend to Anna throughout her personal turmoil.
  9. Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky – Anna’s brother and a prominent government official who has his own extramarital affairs and serves as a foil to the tragic fate of Anna and Vronsky.
  10. Nikolai Levin – Konstantin Levin’s brother, who serves as a soldier and contrasts with Konstantin’s introspection and philosophical musings.

Leave A Reply