Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Trains Symbol Icon
Anna and Vronsky’s entire ill-fated relationship is framed by their interactions on trains. Anna meets Vronsky on a train platform; when they meet, she sees a man killed upon being run over by the train, which is a gruesome foreshadowing of her own suicide. The train also becomes representative of Anna and Vronsky’s affair: though it is slow to begin and seems manageable at first, it soon gathers momentum and begins travelling at a speed far beyond Anna and Vronsky’s control, and the only thing that they can do is cling to it in increasing desperation. Trains are also a symbol of Russia’s connection with Western Europe and fashionable society. Tolstoy is skeptical about trying to graft European philosophies and ideas into Russian life. The trains represent life that moves at a speed faster than the natural course of events. While Tolstoy is in favor of efficiency and integrating new methods that have grown organically from Russian needs and will serve to make the country work in harmony, he is deeply skeptical about modernity for the sake of keeping up appearances and about ideas that come from the desire to remain in fashion rather than fulfilling society’s actual needs. At the end of the novel, trains also become important as the connection between Russia and Serbia, as Vronsky and others join the war to defend the Slavs.

Trains Quotes in Anna Karenina

The Anna Karenina quotes below all refer to the symbol of Trains. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Viking edition of Anna Karenina published in 2000.
Part 1, Chapter 18 Quotes

In that brief glance Vronsky had time to notice the restrained animation that played over her face and fluttered between her shining eyes and the barely noticeable smile that curved her red lips. It was as if a surplus of something so overflowed in her being that it expressed itself beyond her will, now in the brightness of her glance, now in her smile.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Part 7, Chapter 30 Quotes

“No, you’re going in vain,” she mentally addressed a company in a coach-and-four who were evidently going out of town for some merriment. “And the dog you’re taking with you won’t help you. You won’t get away from yourselves.”

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker)
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 762
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 7, Chapter 31 Quotes

And just at that moment when the midpoint between the two wheels came even with her, she threw the red bag aside and, drawing her head down between her shoulders, fell on her hands under the carriage, and with a light movement, as if preparing to get up again at once, sank to her knees.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker)
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 768
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Trains Symbol Timeline in Anna Karenina

The timeline below shows where the symbol Trains appears in Anna Karenina. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 17
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
The next morning, Oblonsky and Vronsky both arrive at the train station: Oblonsky is there to fetch Anna, and Vronsky is coming to meet his mother. (full context)
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
...just proposed to Kitty, and Vronsky comments offhand that Kitty can do better. Meanwhile, the train arrives. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 18
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Vronsky enters the train car to look for his mother, but as he does so, a woman passes who... (full context)
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
...The Countess tells Vronsky that the two women chatted about their sons for the entire train ride. (full context)
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
As they all leave the station, a watchman is run over by a train. Anna is disturbed, viewing the death as a bad omen. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 20
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Anna mentions that she met Vronsky at the train station, and Kitty blushes. Anna talks about Vronsky’s mother, and Anna says that she will... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 29
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Anna is relieved to be on the train leaving Moscow. She begins to read an English novel, but she cannot concentrate. Rather than... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 30
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
As Anna stands on the train platform in the snowstorm, Vronsky suddenly appears. He has followed her from Moscow. The news... (full context)
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
The first face Anna sees when the train pulls into Petersburg is her husband’s, and the first thing she notices are his unsightly... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 31
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Vronsky has not slept on the train either, but he feels invigorated and pleased with the impression that Anna has made on... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 32
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Farming and Rural Life Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...think badly of him. Three days after Nikolai leaves, Levin himself goes abroad. At the railway station, he meets Kitty’s cousin and says that he knows mortality is near. Work, feels... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 9
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...meet Karenin, but Levin and Karenin, as it happens, had met previously once, on a train. Kitty asks Levin about bear hunting and gives Levin an opportunity to show off his... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 15
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Farming and Rural Life Theme Icon
...poverty is due to importing European infrastructure and that urban growth is stunting Russian agriculture; trains, he argues, should help contribute to farming across the country, rather than concentrate all energy... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 6
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Farming and Rural Life Theme Icon
During the children’s tea, the adults talk. Oblonsky is expected on the train, and Kitty’s father might be coming as well, though likely not. Kitty’s mother is sad... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 31
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
...Vronsky doesn’t want to return to his gloomy home, but he gets on the next train that night. (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 31
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Anna boards the train. All the other passengers appear hideous to her. Outside the train, bending by the wheels,... (full context)
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Anna walks along the platform. She remembers the man who was run over by the train on the day that she met Vronsky, and she knows what she must do. She... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 2
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
The railway station is crowded with volunteers supporting the Slavic movement. Koznyshev learns that Vronsky is on... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 3
Society and Class Theme Icon
People are singing patriotic songs as Koznyshev and Katavasov board the train. Katavasov wants to observe the volunteers, so he goes into second class to make their... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 4
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
During a train stop, Koznyshev walks past Vronsky’s apartment and sees Vronsky’s mother, though not Vronsky. She tells... (full context)