I have read both Crime and Punishment and Anna Karenina before, when I was about 14-15 years old and it seems amazing to me how much my perspective changed. I did not look so much into Raskolnikov's reasons for murdering the old lady and I remember completely buying his theory about the old crone. Also, I thought his relationship with Sonya was all about true love and pure emotions.
As we are now starting to read Anna Karenina, I feel ambivalent towards it. The last time I read it I was highly prejudiced against Anna, but I also profoundly disliked Vronsky. The only character I liked and pitied was Levin, though most of the passages about his life in the country bored me terribly. As I am re-entering the universe of this book again and trying to pretend not to have read it before, I have a different perception of Anna and I am more indulgent of her.
Maybe it is because we are reading these books in a class, but I am also paying much more attention to details and I find new meanings in small things, which I did not do years ago. In some way, it feels as if I am reading a different book, as if Tolstoy or Dostoevsky had severely edited parts of their novels in the past years and now I am reading the new, updated version.
Have you read any of the books we have been reading in this class before?If so, how is your perception of the characters different? Do you like them more or less? Are there symbols that you notice now and you didn't notice the first time?