The Kreutzer Sonata | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by John Bayley

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of The Kreutzer Sonata.
This section contains 1,535 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by John Bayley

SOURCE: "The Nouvelle as Hypothesis," in his Tolstoy and the Novel, Chatto & Windus, 1966, pp. 281-93.

In the excerpt below, Bayley contrasts Pozdnyshev's views about marriage expressed in The Kreutzer Sonata with those of Tolstoy.

If one married, along what lines might the relation proceed? What would happen if one became murderously jealous, or obsessed with desire for another woman? Suppose one were to contract a fatal and painful disease, or gave up the world to become a monk and hermit? These hypotheses are specialised; they depend on the rest of life being left out, so that we can concentrate on one particular possibility and problem. Yet all ask the question which is implicit in all Tolstoy's fictions: how should a man live?

Only one hypothesis became a fact for Tolstoy. He got married, and in...

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This section contains 1,535 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John Bayley