Abstract

Abstract:

In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy directs our attention toward several subsets of characters by conferring shared given names on them. This article focuses on one such subset—three minor characters named Barbara. Tolstoy derives his three Barbaras from the third-century St. Barbara, a protectress against violent death. All of the main protagonists of Anna Karenina are beset by fears of losing their place in the world, and several of them actively contemplate suicide. Three of them—Anna, Vronsky, and Kitty—are given a guardian-Barbara, who helps (or, in defiance of the protagonists’ expectations, fails to help) to ground them. Each of the Barbaras is an effective protectress in proportion to how well she hews to the structural paradigm provided by the Life of St. Barbara.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 203-222
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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