Top 10 Best Quotes from “Anna Karenina”

“Anna Karenina”, one of the most famous novels of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, begins with the phrase that has become an aphorism: “All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This is a book about eternal values: love, faith, family, about human dignity. The novel has become a classic of world literature.

Here are the top 10 quotes from “Anna Karenina” about women, love, and marriage:

  • Women are the main stumbling block in human activity. It’s hard to love a woman and do anything. To do this, there are only one means of convenience, without a hindrance to love – this is marriage.
  • In order to undertake anything in family life, either a complete discord between spouses or a loving agreement is necessary. When the relationship of the spouses is indeterminate and there is neither one nor the other, no action can be taken. Many families over the years remain in their old places, hateful to both spouses, only because there is neither complete discord nor agreement.
  • … knowing one wife of yours, whom you love, you will know all the women better than if you knew thousands of them.
  • Freedom? Why freedom? Happiness lies only in loving and desiring, thinking in her desires, in her thoughts, that is, no freedom—this is happiness!
  • Respect was invented to hide the empty space where love should be.
  • One lower class: vulgar, stupid, and, most importantly, ridiculous people who believe that one husband must live with one wife, with whom he is married, that a girl must be innocent, a woman bashful, a man courageous, temperate and firm that it is necessary to bring up children, earn your bread, pay debts – and all sorts of similar nonsense. It was a sort of old-fashioned and funny people. But there was another class of people, real ones, to which they all belonged, in which one had to be, most importantly, elegant, handsome, generous, bold, cheerful, and surrender to any passion without blushing and laughing at everything else.
  • … in order to know love, you have to make a mistake and then get better.
  • The inequality of the spouses consisted in the fact that the infidelity of the wife and the infidelity of the husband are punished unequally both by law and by public opinion.
  • How often the happiness of marriages according to reason scatters like dust, precisely because that same passion appears that was not recognized.
  • Jealousy offends the wife, and one should have confidence in the wife.

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