Leonie Anna Mueck and Johannes Heymer
Institute of Physical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Staudinger Weg 9, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
Eberhard Karls University, Tuebingen
Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 2, Open Questions, 10-12, 2011 (Received June 25th 2011, accepted July 14th 2011, published July 18th 2011)
“That for which nearly a year had been Vrosnky’s sole and exclusive desire , supplanting all his former desire: That for which Anna had been impossible, dreadful, but all the more betwiching dream of happiness, had come to pass. Pale, with trembling lower jaw, he stood over her, entreating her to be calm, himself not knowing how nor why. … `It’s all over?, she said. `I have nothing but you left. Remember that.?”
Anna Karenina is one of the most prominent and at the same time most tragic adulterers in world literature. What begins as passionate but forbidden love between her and Alexey Vronsky leads to years of ostracism and finally reaches its climax in Anna Karenina’s suicide. In the above scene, where the sexual aspect of their relationship cannot be overlooked, Anna Karenina already foretells her fate: “It’s all over”.
The novel is a grand example of how individuals are torn apart between the social imperative of monogamy and their intrinsic passions. Monogamy is indeed a puzzling social construct, since there seem to be two incompatible souls in us: Our wish for intimacy, consistency, and security on the one hand and our adventurous desires on the other. Some scientists interpret these two souls in a way that suggests that our own evolutionary biology is in conflict with norms and imperatives imposed on us by society and culture. […]
Keywords: Epidemiology, History of Sexuality