Family Happiness (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay)

Family Happiness (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay)

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by Leo Tolstoy
     
 

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Leo Tolstoy’s short story “Family Happiness” was published in 1859. The theme was the role of women in society. At the time of its creation, Tolstoy was not married, but wished to be. The letters he wrote to Valeria Arseneva, whom he was in love with at the time, reflect many of the sentiments and ideas that were expressed in the story. In his… See more details below

Overview

Leo Tolstoy’s short story “Family Happiness” was published in 1859. The theme was the role of women in society. At the time of its creation, Tolstoy was not married, but wished to be. The letters he wrote to Valeria Arseneva, whom he was in love with at the time, reflect many of the sentiments and ideas that were expressed in the story. In his letters he spelled out in great detail what should be expected of a husband and wife in their marriage. Tolstoy is also thought to have been influenced by the works of two French writers, Proudhon and Michelet, who had recently published works on the same subject.

“Family Happiness” is told in the first person by a woman (Masha) who has long been married. She relates her courtship, wedding, early happiness in her married state, estrangement from her husband, and an eventual reconciliation. The first part of the story is about her courtship by her future husband when she was only seventeen – her mother had just died and Masha becomes involved with her guardian, Sergei Mikhailych. Her account of this courtship is lyrical and romantic. Sergei tells Masha that happiness can only be found by “living for others”. He has very rigid ideas of what marriage should be, and what Masha’s role is.

This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012587121
Publisher:
Golgotha Press
Publication date:
05/24/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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