It seems I have an eye for seeing color in black and white. First there was the whole popping green thing in Don Quixote. And then I picked up some serious blue and yellow in Madame Bovary and Crime and Punishment. (Yep, I have posts to write about them still. Someday, someday.)
But the hue that painted it’s way through Anna Karenina is one that I can’t explain. Can you help me?
What is the role of lilac in Tolstoy’s classic?
In case you need a bit of a reminder, here are the places the pale purplish makes a presence:
- Kitty wanted Anna to wear lilac to the ball. Instead she wore black. Doesn’t that make you wonder, “what if . . . ?”
- Vronsky’s friend Petrisky keeps company with the Baroness Shilton in a lilac dress when Vronsky returns from Moscow.
- Princess Shtcherbatsky wears lilac ribbons in cap while dining at the health spa.
- The midwife at Anna’s near-death birth experience also had lilac ribbons in her cap.
- The priest wore a lilac vestments at Levin and Kitty’s wedding.
- One of the guest at their wedding was also wearing lilac, which apparently was as bad as black.
- Kitty wears a dark lilac dress during the first days of their married life.
- Seryozha sees a woman in a lilac veil and hopes it is his mother.
- When Anna sees Vronsky for the final time he is getting a parsel from a girl in a lilac hat.