“He soon felt that the fulfillment of his desires gave him only one grain of the mountain of happiness he had expected. This fulfillment showed him the eternal error men make in imagining that their happiness depends on the realization of their desires.”
— Leo Tolstoy’s reflection of the character Vronsky’s successful wooing of Anna Karenina into an adulterous affair. From Tolstoy’s classic novel, Anna Karenina, published in a series of installments between 1873 and 1877.
Sage advice for our generation.
Like no other author, Leo Tolstoy had the magical ability to create and develop characters. He gives them such depth of feeling, emotion, and motive that to read one of his novels is to quiver at his uncanny ability to read minds and unveil motives. In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy expertly conveys his understanding and critique of human nature through the minds and actions of his fictional actors, teaching us invaluable life lessons through the contrasting lives of the noble Levin and the conceited Vronsky.