The 90 Best Anna Karenina Quotes

1. “All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.”

2. “No, no, reconciliation is impossible. Even if we remain in the same house, we are strangers – strangers forever!” She repeated again with special significance the word so dreadful to her. “And how I loved him! my God, how I loved him!…. How I loved him! And now don’t I love him? Don’t I love him more than before? The most horrible thing is,” she began, but did not finish her thought, because Matrona Philimonovna put her head in at the door.”

3. “Friends we shall never be, you know that yourself. Whether we shall be the happiest or the wretchedest of people–that’s in your hands.”

4. “If you look for perfection, you will never be satisfied.”

5. “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”

6. “Everything intelligent is so boring.”

7. “All the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except her, and they had all the usual human feelings and were very ordinary girls; while the other class -herself alone- had no weaknesses and was superior to all humanity.”

8. “I’m like a starving man who has been given food. Maybe he’s cold, and his clothes are torn, and he’s ashamed, but he’s not unhappy.”

9. “Ferreting in one’s soul, one often ferrets out something that might have lain there unnoticed.”

10. ″‘You’ve said nothing, of course, and I ask nothing,’ he was saying; ‘but you know that friendship’s not what I want: that there’s only one happiness in life for me, that word that you dislike so … yes, love!…‘”

11. “What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.”

12. “But I’m glad you’ll see me as I am. Above all, I wouldn’t want people to think that I want to prove anything. I don’t want to prove anything, I just want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself. I have that right, haven’t I?.”

13. “And not only the pride of intellect, but the stupidity of intellect. And, above all, the dishonesty, yes, the dishonesty of intellect. Yes, indeed, the dishonesty and trickery of intellect.”

14. “To educate the peasantry, three things are needed: schools, schools and schools.”

15. “Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed.”

16. “I’m like a starving man who has been given food. Maybe he’s cold, and his clothes are torn, and he’s ashamed, but he’s not unhappy.”

17. “Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”

18. “He looked at her as a man might look at a faded flower he had plucked, in which it was difficult for him to trace the beauty that had made him pick and so destroy it.”

19. “I can’t think of you and myself apart. You and I are the same to me.”

20. “I don’t want to prove anything; I merely want to live, to do no one harm but myself. I have the right to do that, haven’t I?.”

21. “She hardly knew at times what it was she feared, and what she hoped for. Whether she feared or desired what had happened or what was going to happen and exactly what she longed for, she could not have said.”

22. “Love. The reason I dislike that word is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand.”

23. “All that day she had had the feeling that she was playing in the theatre with actors better than herself and that her poor playing spoiled the whole thing.”

24. “The only happy marriages I know are arranged ones.”

25. “We are all created to be miserable, and that we all know it, and all invent means of deceiving each other. And when one sees the truth, what is one to do?.”

26. “Anna spoke not only naturally and intelligently, but intelligently and casually, without attaching any value to her own thoughts, yet giving great value to the thoughts of the one she was talking to.”

27. “The place where she stood seemed to him a holy shrine, unapproachable, and there was one moment when he was almost retreating, so overwhelmed was he with terror. He had to make an effort to master himself, and to remind himself that people of all sorts were moving about her, and that he too might come there to skate. He walked down, for a long while avoiding looking at her as at the sun, but seeing her, as one does the sun, without looking.”

28. “I’ve always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.”

29. “I often think that men don’t understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.”

30. “Everything was made bright by her. She was the smile that shed light all around her.”

31. “He went down trying not to look long at her, as though she were the sun, but he saw her, as one sees the sun, without looking.”

32. “I ask one thing only: I ask for the right to hope, to suffer as I do. But if even that cannot be, command me to disappear, and I disappear. You shall not see me if my presence is distasteful to you.”

33. “Whatever our fate is or maybe, we have made it and do not complain of it.”

34. “Love. Why I don’t like the word is that it means too much to me, far more than you can understand,” and she glanced into his face. ‘Au revoir!‘”

35. “He soon felt that the fulfillment of his desires gave him only one grain of the mountain of happiness he had expected. This fulfillment showed him the eternal error men make in imagining that their happiness depends on the realization of their desires.”

36. “She saw them, helped them, got more and more interested in them, and now the whole family is on her hands.”

37. “With friends, one is well; but at home, one is better.”

38. ″‘If you love me, as you say,’ she whispered, ‘do so that I may be at peace.‘”

39. “Energy rests upon love; and come as it will, there’s no forcing it.”

40. “He could not be mistaken. There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who could concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she. It was Kitty.”

41. “There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.”

42. “There are as many kinds of love, as there are hearts.”

43. “We walked to meet each other up at the time of our love and then we have been irresistibly drifting in different directions, and there’s no altering that.”

44. “Every heart has its own skeletons.”

45. “And where love ends, hate begins.”

46. “They haven’t an idea of what happiness is; they don’t know that without our love, for us there is neither happiness nor unhappiness–no life at all.”

47. “He liked fishing and seemed to take pride in being able to like such a stupid occupation.”

48. “He stepped down, avoiding any long look at her as one avoids long looks at the sun, but seeing her as one sees the sun, without looking.”

49. “But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.”

50. “He knew she was there by the joy and terror that took possession of his heart […] Everything was lit up by her. She was the smile that brightened everything around.”

51. “In order to carry through any undertaking in family life, there must necessarily be either complete division between the husband and wife, or loving agreement.”

52. “Something magical has happened to me: like a dream when one feels frightened and creepy, and suddenly wakes up to the knowledge that no such terrors exist. I have wakened up.”

53. “I’ll be bad; but anyway not a liar, a cheat.”

54. “He felt that he was himself and did not wish to be anyone else. He only wished now to be better than he had been formerly.”

55. “And you know, there’s less charm in life when you think about death–but it’s more peaceful.”

56. “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

57. “it’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.”

58. “Anything is better than lies and deceit!”

59. “The pleasure lies not in discovering truth, but in searching for it.”

60. “I’ve always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.”

61. “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?.”

62. “But that’s the whole aim of civilization: to make everything a source of enjoyment.”

63. “I think…if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”

64. “God forgive me everything!’ she said, feeling the impossibility of struggling…”

65. “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

66. “There it is!’ he thought with rapture. ‘When I was already in despair, and when it seemed there would be no end- there it is! She loves me. She’s confessed it.”

67. “It’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.”

68. “He was afraid of defiling the love which filled his soul.”

69. “Love those that hate you, but to love those one hates is impossible.”

70. “Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget…”

71. “And those who only know the non-platonic love have no need to talk of tragedy. In such love there can be no sort of tragedy.”

72. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

73. “Enough or not…it will have to do.”

74. “But every acquisition that is disproportionate to the labor spent on it is dishonest.”

75. “It’s hard to love a woman and do anything.”

76. “Doctoring her seemed to her as absurd as putting together the pieces of a broken vase. Her heart was broken. Why would they try to cure her with pills and powders?.”

77. “In all human sorrow nothing gives comfort but love and faith, and that in the sight of Christ’s compassion for us no sorrow is trifling.”

78. “Teach French and unteach sincerity.”

79. “Ah, if everyone was as sensitive as you! There’s no girl who hasn’t gone through that. And it’s all so unimportant!.”

80. “The French fashion — of the parents arranging their children’s future — was not accepted; it was condemned. The English fashion of the complete independence of girls was also not accepted, and not possible in Russian society. The Russian fashion of matchmaking by the officer of intermediate persons was for some reason considered disgraceful; it was ridiculed by everyone, and by the princess herself. But how girls were to be married, and how parents were to marry them, no one knew.”

81. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

82. “I don’t allow myself to doubt myself even for a moment.”

83. “The Kingdom of God is Within You.”

84. “His ideas of marriage were, consequently, quite unlike those of the great majority of his acquaintances, for whom getting married was one of the numerous facts of social life. For Levin it was the chief affair of life, on which its whole happiness turned.”

85. “If goodness has causes, it is not goodness; if it has effects, a reward, it is not goodness either. So goodness is outside the chain of cause and effect.”

86. “Be bad, but at least don’t be a liar, a deceiver!”

87. “There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious.”

88. “Sometimes she did not know what she feared, what she desired: whether she feared or desired what had been or what would be, and precisely what she desired, she did not know.”

89. “There can be no peace for us, only misery, and the greatest happiness.”

90. “They’ve got no idea what happiness is, they don’t know that without this love there is no happiness or unhappiness for us–there is no life.”

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