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- Hilarious in Hindsight: There's a bit where a serious artist disapproves of Vronsky's dabbling in art while acting as though he is a serious and dedicated artist which Tolstoy compares to having a man hug and kiss a life-size wax doll as though it's a real person. A century or two later, the Realdoll was invented... (Warning, NSFW!)
- Purity Sue: Kitty has some traces of this, although her entirety represents purity.
- Tear Jerker: The death of Nikolai Levin. Tolstoy based it heavily off of a personal experience that deeply affected him, and it shows.
- Then there's the little matter of the title character's fate...