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Leo Tolstoy's Distinctive Style of Narration - Research Paper Example

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This essay examines how Tolstoy develops his style of narration in Anna Karenina. Tolstoy wrote in the third person omniscient narrator. In this mode, he is privileged to have the advantage of shifting his perspectives from one character to another…
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Leo Tolstoys Distinctive Style of Narration
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Download file to see previous pages Stiva ponders aloud what he should do. The narrative combines his stream of consciousness and the third person perspective in the writing in Part One, Chapter One; ' "But what's to be done What's to be done" he said to himself in despair, and found no answer.' (Tolstoy 3).
Tolstoy developed his omniscient narratives to depict different tones of voices while stepping in the shoes of the various characters. For example, the omniscient narrator who writes about Stiva uses a relaxed tone to reflect Stiva's personality. When the narrator writes about Levin, the tone is tense. It tells that Levin is awkward in social manners because he is honest. Levin and Stiva are assigned opposite tones in narratives because their characters are opposites. Levin's unhappiness with the political climate is depicted in this narrative with Levin and Stiva in Part One, Chapter Five, when this is recorded about Levin; ' "On one side it's a plaything; they play at being a parliament, and I'm neither young enough nor old enough to find amusement in playthings, and on the other side" (he stammered) "it's a means for the coterie of the district to make money. Formerly they had wardships, courts of justice, now they have the district council--not in the form of bribes, but in the form of unearned salary," he said, as hotly as though someone of those present had opposed his opinion.'
"Her husband put her with me, and I was delighted to have her..." ' Tolstoy uses the Countess to voice a different opinion of Anna towards the end of the novel.
Tolstoy developed Anna's narrator to grow with her role in the novel. In the beginning, she is the successful negotiator who wins Dolly's hand back for his brother, Stiva. The narrator shows Anna's cunning strategy of sympathy, empathy, praise, and eventual victory. Tolstoy has developed the narrative to even use the pauses fruitfully. For example, in Part One, Chapter Nineteen, Anna says; ' "I don't know, I can't judge... Yes, I can," said Anna, thinking a moment; and grasping the position in her thought and weighing it in her inner balance, she added: "Yes, I can, I can, I can. Yes, I could forgive it. I could not be the same, no; but I could forgive it, and forgive it as though it had never been, never been at all..." ' Towards the end of the novel in Part Eight, Chapter Thirty-One, Anna has changed into a different woman. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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