A walking body of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf and Leo Tolstoy were aware that capacity of language is rather limited, insufficient and inaccurate when it deals with the inexhaustible vitality of the human mind. The female psyche generates mutually exclusive emotions: excitement and resignation, passionate love and profound hatred, a desire to lead a busy social life and a yearning for self-alienation. Anna Karenina’s longing for self-destruction and Clarissa Dalloway’s craving for self-identification require verbal and non-verbal means of artistic expression. Both texts under discussion constitute a reservoir of expert knowledge of protagonists’ inner lives that is perfectly expressed by the movement of their bodies. In the two novels Tolstoy and Woolf capture the essence of evanescent moments of human existence which is trapped in a vicious circle of destructive love, guilt, despair, or the relentless flow of time, thus inviting a wide range of interpretations.