Throughout life there are situations which arise that seem to have been hinted earlier. You might not have noticed the hint when it first appeared, but suddenly at one point it finally dawns on you. The same goes for the literary aspect of foreshadowing. The novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy has many instances where the situations are similar to the one described above. The following paragraphs will present the foreshadowing that is included in this novel.
When Anna Karenina is met by her brother Oblonsky at the train station, a scene arises that clues into a valuable part of the story. She had just met Vronsky and as Anna and Oblonsky were leaving, a train personnel was hit by the train. Anna burst into tears and exclaims that it is a bad omen. Her brother calms her down but it is clearly evident that this part of the story gives an inclination to the mess Anna ends up being entangled in.
Late one evening, the doorbell rings and Oblonsky goes and greets the visitor. As Anna is walking to her bedroom, she glances over to see who had called at such a late hour. She immediately recognizes it to be Vronsky and she feels ‘a strange feeling of pleasure mixed with a feeling of vague apprehension suddenly stirred in her heart.'( page 90)This tells of what may be the conflict in the plot.
The day after the great ball Anna announces that she must leave. Dolly expresses her gratitude toward everything Anna has done to help her in her time of crisis. She tells Anna that she does not know of a person with a greater heart. Anna tells her that Kitty was depressed because Vronsky spent the evening with her. She exclaims that it wasn’t her fault. Dolly remarks that Anna sounds exactly like Stiva. Anna appears to be offended and says that she is nothing like Stiva. In the end she ends acting similar to Stiva.
Kitty was quite depressed and Dolly knew what was troubling her. She went to visit Kitty and told her that she was going through what all women go through at one point in their life. Kitty told her that she was very unhappy and expressed great sadness when Dolly mentioned Levin. Dolly then realized that Kitty was really sad because she had refused Levin’s proposal and now that Vronsky had left her she was ‘now ready to devote her love to Levin’. ( Page 138)
Clearly depicted in them paragraphs above, foreshadowing is present in many key parts of the novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Perhaps this is Tolstoy’s way of telling readers to identify this element more often. Or maybe he wants us to observe life in this literary view.
Novels cited: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Pages 90, 138.