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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fiery Passion

The Lover's Walk by Walter Dendy Sadler
"Yes, but how often the happiness of an arranged marriage scatters like dust, precisely because of the appearance of that very passion which was not acknowledged," said Vronsky (Pt. 2, Ch. 7).

One question that comes to mind is, why is Anna willing to risk everything for Vronsky?  What is it about him that she is drawn to?  Vronsky, unlike her husband Alexei, ignites her passion and awakens her to life.  When Anna first met Vronsky at the train station, she felt an inward glow caused by his observance of her.  Later at the ball, when Vronsky forsakes Kitty to dance with Anna, Kitty notices an animated side of Anna not visible earlier:

She saw in her (Anna) the signs of that excitement of success she knew so well in herself; she saw that she was intoxicated with the delighted admiration she was exciting. She knew that feeling and knew its signs, and saw them in Anna; saw the tremulous, flashing light in her eyes, and the smile of happiness and excitement unconsciously playing on her lips, and the deliberate grace, precision, and lightness of her movements (Pt 1, Ch. 23).

Anna is displaying a lightness of being, feeling tremulous because she is delving into unfamiliar terrain.  In her normal life with her husband Alexei, her life consists of boring political talk and local gossip.  But Vronsky creates a burning sensation that exudes an excitement for life, which Anna describes as "warm, very warm, hot" (Pt. 1, Ch 29).  The episode on the train ride back to St. Petersburg in which Anna feels very hot and steps out side in the middle of a blizzard is indicative of a her predicament.  Anna enjoys the fiery passion to which she was subjected in Moscow but feels obligated to cool that passion for the sake of her marriage.  Vronsky will not allow the passion to cool when he follows her to St. Petersburg.  With him, she feels a passion that is "joyful, burning, and exciting" but when Alexei expresses that he is "burning with desire to see you" (Pt.1, Ch. 30), his statement comes across as a mockery of the true feelings that Anna feels for Vronsky.  Unfortunately for Anna, one day with Alexei extinguishes the fire that was apparent in Moscow, a fire that only Vronsky can light.


  1. Wonderful painting by Dendy Sadler, never seen it before but it's brilliant.


  2. I was not familiar with this artist before but I will look for more from him.



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