About our Speaker: Mr. Robert Barder has been a teacher and counselor at Northridge Prep since 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Northwestern University. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. In addition to his course on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, he has taught a course at Parent University entitled “Temperament Dynamics in Marriage and Family Life.”
Session 1: Will cover Part I of the novel. Among the questions to be discussed will be: Why is one character, for Tolstoy, the image of evil and another character the embodiment of goodness? What two moral exercises are absolutely essential for married couples to practice and teach their children?
Session 2: Will cover Part II of the novel. Among the questions to be discussed will be: How does this section of the novel emphasize the absolute importance of honesty in marriage relationships? If we wish to improve – ourselves, our marriages, our families – in a way that will last, what critical lesson do we need to learn from the experiences of one of Tolstoy’s most remarkable characters?
Session 3: Will cover Parts III & IV of the novel. Among the questions to be discussed will be: What would Tolstoy say are the happiest moments of our lives? How are work and forgiveness prominent themes in the novel, and similarly, how are they significant for today’s married couples and their families?
Session 4: Will cover Parts V & VI of the novel. Among the questions to be discussed will be: What is one critical component for the success of any marriage? Through a marvelously crafted section of the novel, how does Tolstoy encourage the patience and perseverance of parents in their vocation?
Session 5: Will cover Parts VII & VIII of the novel. Among the questions to be discussed will be: What is the deep significance of the novel’s epigraph? What are we to do if our lives do not seem meaningful?
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