Trains and Railway Stations - Trains
and Railway stations are obvious symbols of change, with all of the comings and goings that occur on
or at them. In this novel they are special symbols of change because of all of the additional
important things that occur on or at them that cause things to change. Anna and Vronsky first
meet at a railway station; Anna first becomes dissatisfied with Karenin at a railway station (his large
ears); Vronsky declares his love for Anna at a railway station; Anna kills herself by jumping under
a train; Vronsky's intention to go to war is revealed on a train.
English novel - A few times in the novel we see Anna trying to read an English novel. This symbolizes
Anna's trying to escape her situation through reading about others. We can also see her trying
not to 'see' her situation when she screws up her eyes numerous times at the end of the novel.
She even admits that she has tried not to think about it.
Frou-Frou - The mistake that Vronsky makes with this mare during the race and the horse's death foreshadow
Anna's ultimate death. In both cases Vronsky loses control over the situation and there are deadly
Peasant Couple -
For Levin the peasant way of life, and especially the peasant couple he observes and envies, symbolizes
pure and simple life. For a while he believes that all of his problems would end and that he could
find true love if he were to renounce his position and marry a peasant woman. He soon realizes
the folly in this idea, but he does find comfort in working with the peasants and in the manual labor.