Gender Expectations In Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina displays a direct reflection of gender expectations in the 19th century. The sole purpose of women being to take care of their children or to please their husbands. While men are credited with being the leader and sole provider of the household. The majority of the characters in this novel follow this superficial guideline, with the rare exception. The societal pressure of gender norms placed on the characters is significant and inescapable, suggesting that if one breaks these norms, they will endure great suffering. Women are seen as submissive objects, who must first get and then always obey their husbands. From the beginning of the novel, the expectation of women being the housekeepers is shown, when Dolly is cleaning …show more content…

First being shown when Vronsky sees Kitty as a “prize” and as an object to obtain, “Marriage had never presented itself as a possibility to [Vronsky]. He only did not like family life, but pictured the family, and especially a husband, according to the general view of the bachelor world in which he lived, as something alien, hostile and, above all ridiculous” (57). After showing an abundance of attention toward Kitty, he makes it very clear that he has no intention of marrying her, and views it as “alien”-like in his bachelor world. Contradicting the expectation of Kitty to be married off at 18 years old. Similiar in the sense of sexism, after Stiva perputrates his affair, no one is even phased by the fact, everyone almost expected this action, “Although Stepan Arkadyich was roundly guilty before his wife and felt it himself, almost everyone in the house, even the nanny, Darya Alexandrovna’s chief friend, was on his side” (5) Following, is the reaction of Stiva to his own affair, “‘No, she hates me. She won’t forgive me. This is terrible, terrible!” (12). Stiva does not feel any remorse toward the fact he cheated on his wife, and the mother of his children, he only is upset that she will not forgive him. Not only this but the reaction of others, who are not even phased by the fact that Stiva had, and will continuously cheat on his wife, which directly contradicts the opinions of others on Anna’s affair. From both

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