The Kreutzer Sonata Analysis

The Kreutzer Sonata Analysis
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To begin within this paper we need to construct an argumentative/persuasive response to questions, based on abundant evidence cited from The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy, 1889. In order to complete the assignment, our text will be divided into three parts, such as first which we are to consider opposing views against the strongest position in the novella; then, we will deal with how ideas of this late 19th-century novel could be applied to our society today, due to Tolstoy’s both utopian and realist perspectives; ultimately, our cognitive focus will be concentrated on the rhetorical means of the author, influencing readers’ perception.

Initially, the novella presents the only masculine perspective of thinking, choosing a female body as a specific object for the desiring (Chapter 5). The female body is introduced as a passive mode, and it is constantly in a lack of speech in the conversations, except, however, in the first scene with the themerchant and lawyer. This passive object of sexual desire, being sexually attractive and a way of inward and outward conflicts between the heroes, is permanently caused by moral and ethical issues of choice, especially in the case of Mr. P. In fact, the masculine text of Tolstoy sees only one subject of the dialogue, making it not from the female side, but rather instead of it. Supposedly, this is a weak position, which opposes the strongest in The Kreutzer Sonata.   

Then, let us put our considerations on both utopian and realistic focuses or perspectives, being proposed by Tolstoy in his narration. Based on “some impossible Christian ethics,” utopian focus, presented somehow against the realistic way of reasoning of the social problems, appears to be – in general – an effective argument of critiquing towards gender, feminity, ethics, moral, as well as civil crimes. This utopian focus must be treated as realistic, I think, because it correlates strongly with a means of public healing in Tolstoy’s time, with “ethic healing” especially in attitude to the females in Russia (Chapters 2-5). According to this, P., as a special voice of the author in the narration, tries to prove the author’s utopian view of how social/political changes ought to be made, emphasizing a bad influence of the education, family, social group close to the main hero, and a whole society wrong attitude towards the fidelity within the couple in marriage (Chapters 4-5). In this text, Tolstoy forces a big program of fundamental reforms towards the family, education, moral, religious, and friendship relations between males and females (Chapter 6). 

Additionally, in The Kreutzer Sonata Tolstoy uses some classic techniques of persuasion in order to avoid fallacies. In fact, in all chapters of the novella, we could see the importance of the outer details which are put outside of the conversations between two heroes or a group of people: for example, “fast train” or “strong tea,” bringing extreme intensity into an action. Similar to the polyphonic novel of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy plays with his heroes’ plural model in the narration, for example, first multi-scene in the train (Chapter 1). Afterward, the author uses his position in the narration to moderate a discussion or shift it, somehow decreasing the intensity within the speakers. 

To conclude, we have analyzed three issues in Tolstoy’s novella: gender focus, utopian/realistic perspectives, and formal means of the narration, which lead us to the presupposition that he uses formal means of narration (such as intensive details and splitting author’s mode) to depict utopian views as realistic ones to be done in the nearest future, but from the patriarchal position of power in family and society (as its macro-projection), and this thesis must be perceived as an extremely relevant for the understanding of moral collapse and such a great problem with divorces and also suicides in late 19th century Russia.

Works Cited:

Tolstoy, Leo. The Kreutzer Sonata. West Valley City, UT: Waking Lion Press, 2006.