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Leo Tolstoys The Kreutzer Sonata is a powerful example of the consequences of a strained marriage In Kreutzer Sonata Tolstoy explores the importance and relevance of love in relationships as seen through the eyes of an old man named Pozdnyshev living in the mid-nineteenth century The disturbing experiences that Pozdnyshev goes through in his failed marriage gives him somewhat of a unique if not warped view of love Pozdnyshev relates his tragic story to others not only to prevent them from making the same mistake as he did but also to analyze his own actions and to understand at what point he lost control of his marriage From his experiences he comes to three generalizations that women are inherently deceitful that relationships between men and women can never be anything but purely physical and that emotional love is only a temporary feeling that can never sustain a strong and long term relationship such as marriage From these generalizations he comes to the conclusion that there is no such thing as everlasting love In the story women are constantly described as devious beings that need to be dealt with carefully in relationships such as marriage Pozdnyshev believes women to be naturally weaker and therefore lack the rights afforded to men Despite this incongruity women can easily level the playing field by utilizing what Pozdnyshev calls their sensuality Once this option is exercised the inequalities are not only erased but reversed and the woman gains full control Pozdnyshev is discomforted by this notion and states I used formerly to feel uncomfortable and uneasy when I saw a lady dressed up for a ball but now I am simply frightened and plainly see her as something dangerous and illicit p544 Indeed Pozdnyshev is wary of the power that women possess because he sees it as an opportunity for infidelity Portrayed as frivolous nymphs he feels women will attach themselves to the first thing that attracts their fancy
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