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Anna Karenina: A Psychiatrist's View - Crazy Characters
Anna Karenina: A Psychiatrist's View - Crazy Characters

Video: Anna Karenina: A Psychiatrist's View - Crazy Characters

Video: Anna Karenina: A Psychiatrist's View - Crazy Characters
Video: Лев Толстой. "Анна Каренина" / "Игра в бисер" с Игорем Волгиным / Телеканал Культура 2023, March

Anna Karenina, the heroine of Leo Tolstoy's novel, is one of the most popular female images of Russian classical literature. Popular, but not charming for everyone. Why?

Depressive patients usually make us sympathetic and willing to help them. But depression in a hysterical person is a more complex and multifaceted phenomenon. The more attentively you analyze the character of the hysterics, the less sympathy you feel for him.

In the novel, Leo Tolstoy gives an example of a hysterical person committing suicide in an attempt to achieve his own happiness at the expense of the misfortune of others

Relationship with husband

The heroine's relationship with her husband looks exemplary. And only upon closer examination one can feel a certain falsity in them, since Anna is not connected with love feelings, but with “respect”.

But her husband is far from an old man. If we assume that Anna got married at the age of 20 and has been married for eight years, then at the time of the development of the plot she is at most 28, and Karenin is less than 50 years old. So it's hardly necessary to talk about sexual dissatisfaction, which at least somehow could justify her romance with Vronsky. She is not so much falling in love with herself passionately as falling in love with a handsome count.

And in a dream he sees that her husband and Vronsky simultaneously "lavished their caresses on her." It is known that most dreams reflect the latent desires of a person

Relationship with a lover

Neither Vronsky's love, nor the daughter born from this relationship, nor travel and entertainment bring her comfort. Anna, like her brother Steve Oblonsky, gets entangled in a deceitful and fake relationship. Mental discord is aggravated by separation from the son. High society does not accept her, friends turn away.

There is no greater punishment for a hysterical personality than “falling in the eyes of society”. She is increasingly aware of the depth of her misfortune (the scene of a secret meeting with her son) and her humiliation (a scandalous episode in the theater). Anna becomes irritable and commits very unseemly acts, while justifying herself and blaming others.

Self-pity is the heroine's only sincere feeling, all her other experiences seem to be fake

This feeling allows her to endlessly justify herself and constantly blame others, deliberately causing them to feel guilty. Anna enjoys her unpunished ability to take away from another everything that is dear to him, to destroy everything that brings joy to another. Shining like a socialite at balls, as at beauty contests, in which she invariably wins her rivals, to demonstrate herself, to cause envy and admiration for herself is her favorite pastime.

These are typical features of a hysterical personality, and the inability to satisfy their desires causes severe deprivation

The sad consequences of treason

The deepening psychological dissonance, the ambiguity of the social position can not be compensated by either the artificial environment created by Vronsky, nor luxury, nor reading, nor the habit of sedative drugs with morphine. Anna begins to be groundlessly jealous of Vronsky, feels her dependence on his love and desires, which makes her mood depressive.

Gradually, she begins to come to the idea of death, in order not only to break the vicious circle into which she has led herself, but at the same time to “punish Vronsky”, to make him guilty of everything that happened.

Psychiatry knows such reasons for suicide. In the novel, the final point of a progressive depressive state was a very harsh method of suicide

Was Anna Karenina a drug addict?

It is hardly legitimate to suspect Anna's drug addiction, since the clinical symptoms of the latter are not clearly described in the novel. But one quote is worth citing: “Anna meanwhile, returning to her office, took a glass and poured into it a few drops of medicine, in which morphine was an important part, and after drinking and sitting motionless for some time, with a calm and cheerful spirit went into the bedroom ".

And what about Vronsky?

Alexei Vronsky, "renounced light, connections, ambition for a beloved woman," in turn, is inclined to experience suicidal tendencies in stressful situations.

He tries to shoot himself. And after Anna's death, he breaks down morally and leaves as a volunteer for the war in Serbia with an obvious desire to die there.

This is a masochistic and not the most optimal way out of a difficult situation for the father of a newly born child

The writer is wiser than his characters

While working on the novel (1873-1877), Tolstoy experienced recurring bouts of his famous “Arzamas melancholy”. But after the completion of the publication of Anna Karenina, the writer went to Optina Pustyn, as all his attempts to recover from depression were in vain.

Unlike his heroes, Tolstoy tried to find the causes of his mental disorder in the elders, and this is still better than lying down on the rails or getting shot

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