130+ Best Anna Karenina Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in book form in 1878. Many writers consider Anna Karenina the greatest work of literature ever, and Tolstoy himself called it his first true novel. Profoundly inspirational Anna Karenina quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for deep quotes from books that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of significant War and Peace quotes, best Crime and Punishment quotes and greatest Les Miserables quotes.

Famous Anna Karenina Quotes

A man can spend several hours sitting cross-legged in the same position if he knows that noting prevents him from changing it; but if he knows that he has to sit with his legs crossed like that, he will get cramps, his legs will twitch and strain towards where he would like to stretch them. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

She was in that highly-wrought state when the reasoning powers act with great rapidity: the state a man is in before a battle or a struggle, in danger, and at the decisive moments of life – those moments when a man shows once and for all what he is worth, that his past was not lived in vain but was a preparation for these moments. — Anna Karenina

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

He liked fishing and seemed to take pride in being able to like such a stupid occupation. — Anna Karenina

I don’t allow myself to doubt myself even for a moment. — Anna Karenina

But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable. — Anna Karenina

Everything intelligent is so boring. — Anna Karenina

There can be no peace for us, only misery, and the greatest happiness. — Anna Karenina

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. — Anna Karenina

All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow. — Anna Karenina

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? — Anna Karenina

In infinite time, in infinite matter, in infinite space, is formed a bubble organism, and that bubble lasts a while and bursts, and that bubble is Me. — Anna Karenina

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. — Anna Karenina

Love… she repeated slowly, in a musing voice, and suddenly, while disentangling the lace, she added: The reason I dislike this word because it means such a great deal to me, far more than you can understand. — Anna Karenina

Levin scowled. The humiliation of his rejection stung him to the heart, as though it were a fresh wound he had only just received. But he was at home, and at home the very walls are a support. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

At that instant he knew that all his doubts, even the impossibility of believing with his reason, of which he was aware in himself, did not in the least hinder his turning to God. All of that now floated out of his soul like dust. To whom was he to turn if not to Him in whose hands he felt himself, his soul, and his love? — Anna Karenina

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. — Konstantin Dmitrich Levin

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

I’ll be bad; but anyway not a liar, a cheat. — Anna Karenina

This child, with his naive outlook on life was the compass which showed them the degree of their departure from what they knew but did not want to know. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

It’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it. — Anna Karenina

Are we not all flung into the world for no other purpose than to hate each other, and so to torture ourselves and one another? — Anna Karenina

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

Darkness had fallen upon everything for him; but just because of this darkness he felt that the one guiding clue in the darkness was his work, and he clutched it and clung to it with all his strength. — Anna Karenina

Without the support from religion–remember, we talked about it–no father, using only his own resources, would be able to bring up a child. — Anna Karenina

He looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower he has gathered , with difficulty recognizing the beauty for which he picked and ruined it. — Anna Karenina

Anna smiled,as people smile at the weaknesses of those they love. . . — Anna Karenina

He was angry with all of them for their interference just because he felt in his soul that they, all these people, were right. He felt that the love that bound him to Anna was not a momentary impulse, which would pass, as worldly intrigues do pass, leaving no other traces in the life of either but pleasant or unpleasant memories. He felt all the torture of his own and her position, all the difficulty there was for them, conspicuous as they were in the eye of all the world, in concealing their love, in lying and deceiving; and in lying, deceiving, feigning, and continually thinking of others, when the passion that united them was so intense that they were both oblivious of everything else but their love. — Anna Karenina-Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky

Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget… — Anna Karenina

What is precious is not the reward but the work. And I wish you to understand that. If you work and study in order to get a reward, the work will seem hard to you; but when you work, if you love the work, you will find your reward in that. — Anna Karenina

Here I am…wanting to accomplish something and completely forgetting it must all end–that there is such a thing as death. — Anna Karenina

Yes, there is something uncanny, demonic and fascinating in her. — Anna Karenina

Pretence about anything sometimes deceives the wisest and shrewdest man, but, however cunningly it is hidden, a child of the meanest capacity feels it and is repelled by it. — Anna Karenina

Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn. — Anna Karenina

But Levin was in love, and so it seemed to him that Kitty was so perfect in every respect that she was a creature far above everything earthly; and that he was a creature so low and so earthly that it could not even be conceived that other people and she herself could regard him as worthy of her. — Anna Karenina

The only happy marriages I know are arranged ones. — Anna Karenina

Without knowledge of what I am and why I am here, it is impossible to live, and since I cannot know that, I cannot live either. In an infinity of time, in an infinity of matter, and an infinity of space a bubble-organism emerges while will exist for a little time and then burst, and that bubble am I. — Anna Karenina

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? — Anna Karenina

But that’s the whole aim of civilization: to make everything a source of enjoyment. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

It’s like scarlet fever: one has to get it over.Then one should invent a way of inoculating love, like vaccination. — Anna Karenina

Perhaps it’s because I appreciate all I have so much that I don’t worry about what I haven’t got. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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? — Anna Karenina

How strange it was to think that he, who such a short time ago dared not believe in the happiness of her loving him, now felt unhappy because she loved him too much! — Anna Karenina

To educate the peasantry, three things are needed: schools, schools and schools. — Anna Karenina

Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed. — Anna Karenina

Teach French and unteach sincerity. — Anna Karenina

Why am I going? he repeated, looking straight into her eyes. You know that I am going in order to be where you are, said he. I cannot do otherwise.Not a word, not a movement of yours will I ever forget, nor can I… — Anna Karenina

Energy rests upon love; and come as it will, there’s no forcing it. — Anna Karenina

Spring is the time of plans and projects. — Anna Karenina

One must do one of two tings: either admit that the existing order of society is just, and then stick up for one’s rights in it;or acknowledge that you are enjoying unjust privileges, as i do, and then enjoy them and be satisfied. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

So he lived, not knowing and not seeing any chance of knowing what he was and for what purpose he had been placed in the word. — Anna Karenina

Anna had been preparing herself for this meeting, had thought what she would say to him, but she did not succeed in saying anything of it; his passion mastered her. She tried to calm him, to calm herself, but it was too late. His feeling infected her. Her lips trembled so that for a long while she could say nothing. — Anna Karenina

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. — Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya (Dolly)

And the candle by the light of which she had been reading that book filled with anxieties, deceptions, grief and evil, flared up brighter than ever, lit up for her all that had once been darkness, sputtered, grew dim and went out for ever. — Anna Karenina

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!‘ — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

What’s all this love of arguing? No one ever convinces anyone else. — Anna Karenina

I think that in order to know love one must make a mistake and then correct it. — Anna Karenina

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!… — Anna Karenina

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. — Kitty Shcherbatskaya- Konstantin Dmitrich Levin

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. — Anna Karenina

What am I coming for? he repeated, looking straight into her eyes. You know that I have come to be where you are, he said; I can’t help it. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

I am not strange but I feel queer. I am like that sometimes. I feel like crying all the time. It is very silly but it will pass. — Anna Karenina

With friends, one is well; but at home, one is better. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

I have discovered nothing. I have only found out what I knew. I understand the force that in the past gave me life, and now too gives me life. I have been set free from falsity, I have found the Master. — Anna Karenina

Everything was made bright by her. She was the smile that shed light all around her. — Anna Karenina

Respect is an invention of people who want to cover up the empty place where love should be. — Anna Karenina

Love those that hate you, but to love those one hates is impossible. — Anna Karenina

It’s not so much that he can’t fall in love, but he has not the weakness necessary. — Anna Karenina

My life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it! — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

There was no solution, save that universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insolvable: One must live in the needs of the day–that is, forget oneself. — Anna Karenina

And the light by which she had read the book filled with troubles, falsehoods, sorrow, and evil, flared up more brightly than ever before, lighted up for her all that had been in darkness, flickered, began to grow dim, and was quenched forever. — Anna Karenina

Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels? — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

Count Vronsky: I love you! Anna Karenina: Why? Count Vronsky: You can’t ask Why about love! — Anna Karenina

Anything is better than lies and deceit! — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

If there was a reason why he preferred the liberal tendency to the conservative one (also held to by many of his circle), it was not because he found the liberal tendency more sensible, but it more closely suited his manner of life. — Anna Karenina

Then he thought himself unhappy, but happiness was all in the future; now he felt that the best happiness was already in the past. — Anna Karenina

He felt that all his hitherto dissipated and dispersed forces were gathered and directed with terrible energy towards one blissful goal. — Anna Karenina

They ought to find out how to vaccinate for love, like smallpox. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

I do value my work awfully; but in reality only consider this: all this world of ours is nothing but a speck of mildew, which has grown up on a tiny planet. And for us to suppose we can have something great – ideas, work – it’s all dust and ashes. — Anna Karenina

Ferreting in one’s soul, one often ferrets out something that might have lain there unnoticed. — Anna Karenina

In Varenka, she realized that one has but to forget oneself and love others, and one will be calm, happy, and noble. — Anna Karenina

If you love me as you say you do,’ she whispered, ‘make it so that I am at peace. — Anna Karenina

When Levin thought what he was and what he was living for, he could find no answer to the questions and was reduced to despair; but when he left off questioning himself about it, it seemed as though he knew both what he was and what he was living for, acting and living resolutely and without hesitation. — Anna Karenina

There are people who, on meeting a successful rival, no matter in what, are at once disposed to turn their backs on everything good in him, and to see only what is bad. There are people, on the other hand, who desire above all to find in that lucky rival the qualities by which he has outstripped them, and seek with a throbbing ache at heart only what is good. — Anna Karenina

It’s hard to love a woman and do anything. — Anna Karenina

The pleasure lies not in discovering truth, but in searching for it. — Anna Karenina

What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness. — Anna Karenina

These joys were so trifling as to be as imperceptible as grains of gold among the sand, and in moments of depression she saw nothing but the sand; yet there were brighter moments when she felt nothing but joy, saw nothing but the gold. — Anna Karenina

If you look for perfection, you will never be satisfied. — Anna Karenina

He was afraid of defiling the love which filled his soul. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

Many families remain for years in the same place, though both husband and wife are sick of it, simply because there is neither complete division nor agreement between them. — Anna Karenina

He felt himself, and did not want to be anyone else. All he wanted now was to be better than before. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

The question of how things will settle down is the only important question… — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

But every acquisition that is disproportionate to the labor spent on it is dishonest. — Anna Karenina

The Lord had given them the day and the Lord had given them the strength. And the day and the strength had been dedicated to labor, and the labor was its reward. Who was the labor for? What would be its fruits? These were irrelevant and idle questions. — Anna Karenina

All is over…I have nothing but you, remember that.I can never forget what is my whole life. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

Every heart has its own skeletons. — Anna Karenina

I often think that men don’t understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it. — Anna Karenina

No one is satisfied with his fortune,and everyone is satisfied with his wit. — Anna Karenina

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. — Anna Karenina

All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade. — Anna Karenina

Be bad, but at least don’t be a liar, a deceiver! — Anna Karenina

And you know, there’s less charm in life when you think about death–but it’s more peaceful. — Anna Karenina

I think that to find out what love is really like, one must first make a mistake and then put it right. — Anna Karenina

As often happens between men who have chosen different pursuits, each, while in argument justifying the other’s activity, despised it in the depth of his heart. — Anna Karenina

Then we should find some artificial inoculation against love, as with smallpox. — Anna Karenina

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? — Anna Karenina

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