Thursday, April 17, 2014


I'm having a difficult time figuring out why Karenin is named after the Anna Karenina Karenin, besides that fact that Tereza was carrying that novel under her arm when she went to see Tomas. Other than that, there really are not any parallels between to the two- and I don't mean in the obvious way that one is a dog and one is a human.
For instance, after reading the last part of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Anna Karenina, I actually see both Karenins is somewhat opposite situations. In Anna Karenina, Karenin, Anna's much older husband, is this robot-like, unemotional, but also highly respected government official. Realizing she doesn't really have feelings for her husband, Anna ends up having an affair with Count Vronsky. However, towards the end of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Tereza considers that possibility that she may love Karenin more than Tomas.
Needless to say, if there is some deeper meaning to the Karenin thing, I'm missing it.


Kincy GIbson said...

There is definitely symbolism between the name Karenin in the book and the dog. I think naming the dog Karenin is more representative of home than the character. When she leaves home she brings the book as a representation of her new life. Therefore, the book represents her new home. Tereza says her home is where her dog Karenin is. Therefore, I think the name symbolizes home.

Miranda Martinez said...

That does seem confusing. I do agree with Kincy though, I think Karenin represents home rather than the actual character. Even so, the death of Karenin makes me cry every time I read it. It's so sad!!

Ian Kuehne said...

Maybe the lack of a real connection between Anna Karenina and the dog is an example of how things transition from being trivial to being important and vice versa in the book, like the anecdote about Beethoven's joke turning into a motif in his last string quartet. Or maybe I'm just trying to make up material for a blog post.

Joseph D'Amico said...

I don't really think there is any significance to Karenin's name other than the fact that Tereza was carrying Anna Karenina under her arm the day she walked in. As you say, there is not much of a relationship between the dog and the book, so I really don't think that it goes any deeper than that.