79 Top “Anna Karenina” Quotes That Tug at the Heartstrings

Photo of author
Updated on

Here are the 79 best handpicked quotes from “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy:

From “Every heart has its own skeletons.” to “I know fiery horses by their brand, and I know young people who are in love by their eyes.”

So if you want the best quotes from “Anna Karenina,” then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get straight to it!

Featured Anna

My Favorite “Anna Karenina” Quote


Every Heart

“Every heart has its own skeletons.”

— Anna Karenina

This quote is reminiscent of a line from a book I read before, which says, ‘Our backs carry heavy stories no spine of books can carry.’

I believe that even when a person appears fine on the outside, everyone has their own burdens to bear in this lifetime that remain hidden.

Take, for instance, the people we see on the internet who appear to live grand, almost perfect lives.

However, I doubt this portrayal because few reveal the raw and unfiltered aspects of their experiences.

Best Handpicked Quotes From “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy


He Could

“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


The Kingdom

“The Kingdom of God is Within You.”

— Anna Karenina


He Looked At

“He looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower he has gathered, with difficulty recognizing in it the beauty for which he picked and ruined it. And in spite of this he felt that then, when his love was stronger, he could, if he had greatly wished it, have torn that love out of his heart; but now when as at that moment it seemed to him he felt no love for her, he knew that what bound him to her could not be broken.”

— Anna Karenina


Enough Or

“Enough or not…it will have to do.”

— Anna Karenina


There Can

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

— Anna Karenina


And Not

“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


Anna Spoke

“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


Happy Fam

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

— Anna Karenina


To Educate

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

— Anna Karenina


All That

“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 Am

“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


Friends We

“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


And Those

“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


I Ask 1

“I ask one thing: I ask the right to hope and suffer as I do now.”

— Anna Karenina


If Goodness

“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


Energy Rests

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

— Anna Karenina


He Liked

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

— Anna Karenina


Teach French

“Teach French and unteach sincerity.”

— Anna Karenina


There Are 4

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

— Anna Karenina


There It

“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


He Felt

“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.”

— Anna Karenina


Ive Always

“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.”

— Anna Karenina


There Was 3

“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


I Dont 4

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

— Anna Karenina


But That Had

“But that had been grief–this was joy. Yet that grief and this joy were alike outside all the ordinary conditions of life; they were loopholes, as it were, in that ordinary life through which there came glimpses of something sublime. And in the contemplation of this sublime something the soul was exalted to inconceivable heights of which it had before had no conception, while reason lagged behind, unable to keep up with it.”

— Anna Karenina


I Dont Want

“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


These Joys

“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


But Every

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

— Anna Karenina


But Thats

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

— Anna Karenina


And Where

“And where love ends, hate begins.”

— Anna Karenina


Ah If

“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


In All

“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 Cant 1

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

— Anna Karenina


God Forgive

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

— Anna Karenina


Then We

“Then we should find some artificial inoculation against love, as with smallpox.”

— Anna Karenina


Just Think

“Just think! This whole world of ours is only a speck of mildew sprung up on a tiny planet, yet we think we can have something great – thoughts,, actions! They are all but grains of sand.”

— Anna Karenina


The Only

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

— Anna Karenina


The More 2

“The more he did nothing, the less time he had to do anything.”

— Anna Karenina


When Levin

“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


He Knew 1

“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.”


We Are All 1

“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

— Anna Karenina


I Ask One

“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


We Walked

“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


He Went

“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


Doctoring Her

“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


There Are No

“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


He Had 3

“He had heard that women often fall in love with ill-favored, stupid men, but he did not believe that such would be his own experience, just as he felt that it would be impossible for him to love a woman who was not beautiful, brilliant, and poetic.”

— Anna Karenina


Everything Intelligent

“Everything intelligent is so boring.”

— Anna Karenina


Pardon Me

“‘Pardon me not according to my deserts, but according to Thy loving-kindness’ Thus only can she forgive me.”

— Anna Karenina


And You

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

— Anna Karenina


What A 5

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

— Anna Karenina


Im Like

“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


All The 4

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

— Anna Karenina


Whatever Our

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

— Anna Karenina


He Was Afraid

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

— Anna Karenina


Not One

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

— Anna Karenina


Something Magical

“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


He Soon

“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


Its Hard

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

— Anna Karenina


But The 1

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

— Anna Karenina


But Im

“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


Theyve Got

“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


Its Much

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

— Anna Karenina


All The Girls

“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


Sometimes She

“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


I Always

“I always loved you, and if one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be.”

— Anna Karenina


All The Variety

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

— Anna Karenina


Love The

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

— Anna Karenina


Rummaging In

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

— Anna Karenina


Is It

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

— Anna Karenina


Spring Is

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

— Anna Karenina


Respect Was

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

— Anna Karenina


He Stepped

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”

— Anna Karenina


I Think 4

“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


If You Look

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

— Anna Karenina


Yes Replied

“Yes,” replied Levin, slowly, and with emotion; “you are right, I am untamed; yet it was not that I went.”

— Anna Karenina


I Humbly

“I humbly beg to be left in peace. It is all that I ask from my dear brothers.”

— Anna Karenina


I Know 4

“I know fiery horses by their brand, and I know young people who are in love by their eyes.”

— Anna Karenina