Life,  Reading

Train of Tragedy: Anna Karenina’s Journey of Love and Loss

  The movie “Anna Karenina” is adapted by British director Joe Wright (1972-) from the work of the same name by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Once the original work was published, it aroused explosive discussions throughout Russian society. Dostoevsky commented on the work: “This is a perfect artistic masterpiece. There is nothing similar in modern European literature.” Compare it to that!” Thus, in Tolstoy’s writings, a character with emerging female consciousness stepped onto the stage of the times, and single-handedly issued a cry for freedom to the entire Russian feudal society. To this day, the brilliance of humanity exuded by Anna still attracts countless readers to read this book, and also attracts directors from all over the world to adapt this book into films.
  On the basis of respecting the original work, the director used the contrast of the pictures to interpret the contradictions in the inner world of the protagonist Anna Karenina, and used symbolic metaphors in the film to hint that the protagonist Anna is leading a tragic fate step by step. Gorky once said, “Anything that contradicts hypocrisy is extremely important and valuable.” In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy describes an almost extreme hypocritical society, and the protagonist Anna is doomed to be single-handed and invincible in this war with hypocrisy.
  1. The contrast of the picture reflects Anna’s inner contradiction
  . In film and television works, the beauty of contrast makes the film more enjoyable, and the contradiction brought by contrast can push the film to reach a climax. The use of contrast in the film includes the contrast of character settings, the contrast of the movie script, the contrast of sound and picture, etc.
  The strong contrast in the movie “Anna Karenina” not only brings a strong visual impact to the moviegoers, but also causes the moviegoers to think about the reasons behind this tragedy. The movie kicks off with an almost fairy tale-like opening. The entire scene is extremely gorgeous, showing glory and wealth everywhere. The director slowly reveals the details of the entire scene to the audience through a horizontal panning shot. As the camera goes by, the entire stage picture is revealed. The magnificence shown in the picture is like a dazzling mosaic mural, and the protagonist Anna is a decorative figure embedded in the mural. She knows she is trapped in it, but… I don’t know how to escape from this “gorgeous” prison. The film ends, and the final scene returns to the “mural” at the beginning of the film. Different from the opening, except for the departure of the protagonist Anna, the graceful and luxurious clothes are no longer in the picture, and the splendid room with golden walls is replaced by a piece of grass. The sense of desolation brought by the grass reveals desolation and irony. This contrast in the picture even makes people forget that the hope given by the work is running on the grass – Anna’s two children.
  Secondly, the director uses the contrast of the images to reflect the complex and contradictory inner world of the protagonist Anna. On the one hand, the protagonist Anna yearns for free love and wants to get rid of the hypocritical Russian upper class society that restricts her free will. Although her determination to escape is so strong, she cannot escape her responsibilities as a mother and the care for her son Seryosha. Missing makes Anna return again and again to the society that once made her want to escape. On the other hand, Anna’s rebellious thoughts were demonstrated in action under the ignition of her lover Vronsky. Before that, she was deeply influenced by the Russian upper class and showed a kind of dependence. She thought she could give up everything for love, but whenever the singing in the opera house sounded, she still wanted to put on a beautiful dress and go to watch it. , went to the entertainment venue where her appearance was the center of discussion, but little did she know that the upper class had abandoned her.
  The contrast between movie characters still needs images to express it. Human nature is difficult to accurately define, right or wrong. After the encounter with Vronsky at the train station, Anna’s “primitive desire” was once again aroused. At this time, Vronsky was the key to Anna’s awakening of female consciousness. His appearance broke the shackles that restricted Anna’s free will, but Anna Overestimated Vronsky’s confidence in the love between the two of them. Vronsky was affectionate when he first met Anna, but when Anna faced verbal criticism from others, he could not conceal his cowardice. Anna abandoned everything and placed her hope of love on Vronsky, which became the straw that broke the camel’s back. Anna overestimated Vronsky’s love. When Anna was spurned by others in the theater, Vronsky did not dare to go to the rescue, but just hid aside and felt uneasy. When Anna’s only spiritual sustenance leaves her, her fate can be imagined. The contrast between Vronsky before and after makes Anna’s bravery particularly valuable, but it also makes Anna’s character more tragic.
  As the story progresses, we can’t help but discover the reason why Anna betrayed her husband and pursued another love. Anna’s husband Karenin, as the spokesperson of Russia’s feudal serfdom society, has long been corrupted by feudal ideas and bureaucracy in the workplace and has become lifeless. In Karenin’s eyes, Anna was a decoration for him to show off to the outside world and a tool to vent his primitive desires. He never cared about Anna’s spiritual needs. In order to avoid becoming a vassal of Russian society centered on male chauvinism, Anna embarked on a road of struggle to pursue the freedom of love. As an objective fact, Anna alone cannot shake the dominant will of the entire society. Coincidentally, the Asian film master Akira Kurosawa also showed the tragedy of women’s inability to escape their fate in his film “Rashomon”. Their husbands are extremely hypocritical and cowardly, and will not make any changes or compromises for women. In “Rashomon”, after witnessing his wife being insulted by a bandit, Masa’s husband even hoped that she would commit suicide to preserve her chastity, which is really sad.
  2. Symbolic metaphors hint at Anna’s tragedy.
  As an integral part of film art, symbolic symbols play an important role in promoting the storyline, shaping the characters, and suggesting the direction of the plot. When the theory of semiotics is introduced into the field of film art, a certain symbol is given a corresponding connotation under a specific time and space. Art is originally a representation of nature and society. Its principle is that art uses media and corresponding codes to further create different forms of things or phenomena in reality according to people’s wishes. It can be said that literature and art belong to a special kind. symbology.
  Under the director’s lens, the train is sometimes just a simple means of transportation, sometimes a place where the storyline unfolds, but sometimes it is given some special meaning by the director, which can better express the director’s thoughts and emotions, thereby gaining a certain an unexpected effect. For example, it can represent the unknown, a thrilling chase, or a pacesetter in the advancement of the industrial age, etc. The symbol of the train plays an important role in the film Anna Karenina. It can be said that the entire film promotes the development of the plot with the turning of train wheels. Director Joe White’s interpretation of trains can also be described as textbook.
  First, the train is where Anna and Vronsky first meet. On Anna’s way to mediate the emotional dispute between her brother Oblonsky and his wife Dolly, Anna and Vronsky began to look at each other. Although the two did not communicate verbally, the camera focused on the two. The constant switching of gazes implies the emotional collision between the two. Anna and Vronsky are no longer mere passengers at this time, but a couple whose relationship is growing. The roar of the train is more like the call and yearning for love deep in their hearts. As a wife and mother, Anna’s love with Vronsky is destined not to be accepted by society. The pursuit of this love must be a thrilling and unknown process. The moment Anna and Vronsky fall in love with each other, it is doomed. This relationship leads to an unknown abyss.
  At the same time, the train has already arranged Anna’s fate. In the film, after Anna and Vronsky met for the first time on the train, there was a scene where when the two got off at their destination, a train station worker was run over and killed by the train. What followed was that… In this sudden situation, Anna and Vronsky’s eyes collided again. The design of this section seems to have paved the way for Anna to commit suicide by lying on the train. On the one hand, Anna could not get permission from her husband Karenin to divorce, so she and Vronsky could not live together legally. At the same time, the door of the upper class was closed to her, and visiting her son Seryosha became a luxury; on the other hand, she and Vronsky Vronsky’s quarrel makes Anna doubt his fidelity to love, and she begins to suspect that Vronsky has a new love. In the quarrels again and again, Anna’s mental state gradually collapsed, prompting her to re-examine herself, this relationship, and this society. Standing on the train platform, in a trance, Anna’s mind flashed back to the scene when she first met Vronsky, as well as the worker who was run over by the train. She chose to throw herself at the moving train to end her life, and at the same time end the pain caused by her inner conflicts. The train brings the opportunity for Anna and Vronsky to meet, but it also brings unknown risks to their relationship. Driven by the train, the relationship between the two slowly heats up, and eventually heads towards destruction, which will also bring Anna’s Tragedy lays the foundation for death. All in all, the symbol of the train plays an important role in the film. While it promotes the gradual advancement of the storyline, it also serves as a metaphor for the death train that Anna is embarking on towards tragedy.
  3. The historical background determines the inevitability of Anna’s tragedy.
  The greatness of “Anna Karenina” lies in the writer Tolstoy’s successful portrayal of the character of the protagonist Anna, and the success of the film is attributed to the director and actors’ perfection in the role. Interpretation. Every successful movie is closely related to the creation of its characters, and the thoughts, personality and destiny displayed by the characters are closely related to the social environment and background of the times in which they live. When we explore the reasons for the tragedy of Anna Karenina, we cannot avoid the historical background of Russia at that time and the overall situation of Russian society.
  Leo Tolstoy began writing “Anna Karenina” in 1873 and completed it in 1877. At this time, Russia was undergoing the serfdom reform in 1861. The ancient and conservative feudal society was strongly impacted by the capitalist trend of thought. The Russian feudal serf system also collapsed under the impact of the bourgeois revolution. The increasingly corrupt and decadent ideas of the feudal aristocrats and landlords were in conflict with the emerging bourgeoisie. There was a fierce collision of humanistic ideas. With the enlightenment of humanistic thought and the awakening of human nature, the call for human liberation and freedom of love became increasingly louder in Russian society at that time. However, the incompleteness of the revolution and the opposition between the two ideas put the entire Russian society in a contradiction and ideological conflict. This contradiction and conflict were unconsciously reflected in the works of Russian writers who cared about the motherland. “Anna Karenina” was born under this background of the times. As Levin said in the novel, “Everything is chaotic and everything is being established.” It can be said that the writer Tolstoy used Levin’s mouth to express the questions of the times.
  Starting from the realistic background of the times, we can peek into the questions of the times that the writer raised in his works. The writer himself does not provide correct solutions to the problems that arise in real society, but describes the real scenes of reality to the “participants” who are in the context of this era. Based on the collision of political, economic, ideological and moral concepts in the real Russian society, Tolstoy also described a society full of contradictions, conflicts and collisions in his works. In “Anna Karenina”, this kind of conflict and collision is mainly reflected in two aspects. On the one hand, it is the conflict between the protagonist Anna Karenina’s “self”, and on the other hand, it is the conflict between the entire Russian society and Anna’s personal life. conflict.
  The protagonist Anna’s “self” conflict is mainly reflected in her thoughts. As an emerging female representative of the awakening of female consciousness, Anna always maintains an exclusive attitude towards everything in feudal society. What she yearns for more is freedom and love, and she longs to get rid of the imprisonment of her husband Karenin and the ideological imprisonment of the entire society. However, Anna has unknowingly become dependent on the life of the upper class. The upper class society closed its doors to her, her husband Karenin’s intransigence, and her quarrel with her lover Lensky eventually led to Anna’s mental breakdown and she chose to commit suicide by lying on the train in order to seek spiritual relief.
  The conflict between the entire Russian society and Anna is manifested in the former’s rejection and accusation of the latter, or Anna’s resistance to the entire Russian society on her own. The entire upper class regards Anna like a plague, and the former compliments have now become insults. Even if a man smiles politely at Anna, he will be scolded by his wife. This shows that the ideological conflict between the two parties has reached an unbearable level. The point of reconciliation. The thoughts of feudal aristocrats and landowners and the emerging bourgeois humanistic thoughts are now reflected in these two conflicts. The rejection of the two has put everything in chaos. How to build a new building of peace has become an urgent problem to be solved.
  Tolstoy narrates the entire event from the perspective of an explorer and observer rather than as a problem solver. Through another love story line about Levin and Kitty in the film, we can see that the author hopes to find a trace of peace in this conflicting social state. In other words, through the character of Levin, Tolstoy peered into the chaotic society in reality and in his works. Levin is a feudal aristocrat, but he scorns the status of aristocrats. In his eyes, the real aristocrats are gradually disappearing in the torrent of the times, and the current aristocrats have no identity. He hated the hypocrisy and corruption of the nobles, and hated everything about them. In order not to join the same trend with this group of nobles, and in order to prevent his innocence from being tarnished, he quietly stayed away from the hustle and bustle, away from the city, and returned to a remote rural manor to join the farmers. Experience working life.
  4. Conclusion
  As an independent art, every film is a new work of art. While adapting literary works, it will also incorporate its own creative ideas. It is in this constant interpretation and interpretation that The study of literary works has become more valuable, and film and television works have also become richer through literary works. The movie “Anna Karenina” is adapted from the work of the same name by the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Under the second creation of director Joe White, Anna in the literary text moved from the text to the screen, thus Giving this image a richer interpretation method also enables readers or viewers to interpret this work from a more diversified perspective.
  Anna’s tragedy is the result of the evolution of the times. She is a representative of the awakening of human nature in that society. Because she does not know where the train of the times is going, Anna becomes a victim of the times. So Anna boarded the train and came to the place where it all began, telling about the society she discovered: “Everything is hypocrisy, all lies, all deception, all sin.” The sentence at the end of the film is “A Dream of Red Mansions” A blank ending – “I’m sorry.” We wonder, who is Anna apologizing to, Vronsky? Karenin? Seryosha? Maybe she was apologizing to her children, but she was more like apologizing to love, apologizing that she could no longer pursue, discover, or fight like a warrior.

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