I was not overly shocked by the revolutionary aspects of The Kreutzer Sonata - namely its explicit denunciation of marriage and violent ending. I mean revolutionary in the sense that in the late 19th century, Tolstoy's writings would have shocked and outraged Russian society. Ironically, I'm a pessimist about marriage just as the man in The Kreutzer Sonata was. However, I will never condone abuse or violence, which were the most troubling aspects of this novella. Why did the man have to be a murderer? Was divorce really so bad an option? I believe that even in today's society, which is much more free-wheeling than aristocratic Russia in the 19th century, marriages are entered into brashly and unhappiness is far too common. However, - and I may be the devil's advocate here - rather than advocating better selection or striving for "chastity" in marriage, the ease of divorce should lower the possibility of abuse or even murder. I had not previously thought of The Kreutzer Sonata as championing ease of divorce, but this role fits the novella well.
Perhaps ease of divorce is not the issue, but rather the stigma attached to it, which is still seen today (though perhaps not in Russia). This blog post is focusing on whether the murderer could have chosen another path. I believe he was a little loony in the head and more abusive than most men. He seemed to have murdered his wife without sufficient proof and based on a few wrongly-interpreted looks. The fact that the wife did not confess on her deathbed was proof to me of the murderer's impetuousness. Do you believe the murderer had due cause? Was the wife innocent or guilty? Did he have another way out?