Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

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Anna Arkadyevna Karenina Character Analysis

Anna is a beautiful, aristocratic, sharply intelligent, intensely charismatic woman. Nearly everyone––male, female, young, old––is magnetically attracted to her, and at the beginning of the novel, she is the brilliant center of society. However, her relentless pursuit of love and her extramarital affair with Vronsky cause her to be cast into social exile: she falls from an object of worship to a pariah. Anna believes deeply in love: her love for Vronsky, her desire to reconcile Dolly and Oblonsky, her love for her son, Seryozha. Anna is also deeply jealous, particularly later in the novel: she clings furiously to Vronsky when she can sense that their relationship is souring. Anna comes to hate her husband, Karenin, because she sees his ambition as maintaining his reputation in society rather than following his passions. As the novel progresses, she becomes increasingly passionate and dominated by strong torrents of emotion. Even though Anna is deeply flawed—she commits adultery and abandons her children—the reader nevertheless identifies with her. The reader comes under Anna’s charismatic spell, and even though the other characters and even the narrator disapprove of her actions, the reader remains sympathetic with Anna throughout, despite her faults.

Anna Arkadyevna Karenina Quotes in Anna Karenina

The Anna Karenina quotes below are all either spoken by Anna Arkadyevna Karenina or refer to Anna Arkadyevna Karenina. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Viking edition of Anna Karenina published in 2000.
Part 1, Chapter 18 Quotes

In that brief glance Vronsky had time to notice the restrained animation that played over her face and fluttered between her shining eyes and the barely noticeable smile that curved her red lips. It was as if a surplus of something so overflowed in her being that it expressed itself beyond her will, now in the brightness of her glance, now in her smile.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Vronsky first sees Anna Karenina at a train station, which foreshadows her eventual tragic end. On the one hand, their first glance has all the hallmarks of stereotypical “love at first sight”: even though they lock eyes only for a moment, both have the impression of being profoundly changed. Anna’s “shining eyes” and “red lips” are common characteristics of a beautiful woman in love. However, the relationship between Vronsky and Anna also has a spiritual dimension that goes beyond the mere cliché. Behind Anna’s expression is a “surplus of something,” suggesting a spiritual dimension that is beyond the capacities of language to express. The limitation of language is a common theme throughout Anna Karenina: the most powerful forces are not ones that can be stated in words, but rather exceed the constraints of speech.

The word “animation” is also crucial throughout the novel as signifying the life force or inner spirit within everyone. The fact that Anna must keep her animation “restrained” suggests that she is being constrained by the conventions of Russian society. From the very beginning, the animation between Vronsky and Anna must be outwardly restrained due to the laws and customs of their society. However, the tension between the outward restraint and the inner emotion only makes their love burn more strongly. Indeed, without the tension that the restraint provides, the animation itself might warp or dim.

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Part 1, Chapter 22 Quotes

Kitty had seen Anna every day, was in love with her, and had imagined her inevitably in lilac. But now, seeing her in black, she felt that she had never understood all her loveliness. Now she understood that Anna could not have been in lilac, that her loveliness consisted precisely in always standing out from what she wore, that what she wore was never seen on her. And the black dress with luxurious lace was not seen on her; it was just a frame, and only she was seen – simple, natural, graceful, and at the same time gay and animated.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, Princess Katerina (Kitty) Alexandrovna Shcherbatsky
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

Anna is so full of inner "animation" that her clothes exist only as a backdrop to her own fire and passion. She is an object of desire not because of the clothes she wears, but because she exudes such a force of character that the clothes "frame" her. Kitty’s description of Anna also illustrates Tolstoy’s ability to slip in and out of the minds of various characters throughout the novel—a technique known as "free indirect discourse." In this depiction, the reader sees Anna as Kitty sees her, with all of Kitty’s particular opinions and biases. If Kitty were viewing Anna unfavorably, she might have chosen to criticize her outfit as seeming too alluring or too suggestive. Anna’s choice to wear a black, revealing dress, rather than an outfit in a more demure color, emphasizes that she wishes to be viewed as a sexually desirable woman. But because Kitty sees Anna with admiration, the reader admires her, too.

Part 1, Chapter 29 Quotes

Anna Arkadyevna read and understood, but it was unpleasant for her to read, that is, to follow the reflection of other people’s lives. She wanted too much to live herself.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
Related Symbols: Written Language, Foreign Language, and Communication
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

Ironically, Anna, the titular character of a novel dedicated to delving into its characters’ psychologies, does not trust the experience of reading about people, instead insisting on action. However, Anna does not object to reading because she finds it to be a pale comparison of life. On the contrary, reading over-stimulates her emotions, forcing her to spin around and around her decisions with intense scrutiny instead of moving forward.

In her desire to act rather than to read, Anna mirrors Levin. The nervousness and overstimulation that reading produces within her foreshadows Levin’s anxiety when he speaks with his brother about societal concerns. When both characters live too much in the world of words and artificially created structures, they grow overly self-critical and nervous. Anna and Levin both feel restored and calmed by coming back into contact with the natural world. Anna steps outside into the icy air, which exhilarates her and helps lift her feelings of shame and paranoia.

Part 1, Chapter 32 Quotes

And the son, just like the husband, produced in Anna a feeling akin to disappointment. She had imagined him better than he was in reality. She had to descend to reality to enjoy him as he was.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, Count Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin , Sergei Alexeich (Seryozha) Karenin
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

The version of the world that exists in Anna’s imagination and the world that she actually lives in are not always parallel. Indeed, over the course of the novel, the gap between Anna’s mind and the physical world grows and grows until, in the end, she is consumed by warped perceptions and jealous thoughts. Anna has constructed a vision in her head of how she thinks the world ought to be and how she believes she should feel, and when that vision of herself does not match reality, she has to figure out which version of herself she trusts.

Although imagination initially seems to be more majestic than the real world, once Anna returns to reality and interacts with the real version of her son, she finds that his physical presence soothes her and produces a sense of “moral ease.” Reality and the physical world are much more trustworthy than imagination throughout the novel. Even though Anna initially thinks that the paragon of her son in her mind’s eye is superior to real life, living in a fantasy of ideal figures is unsustainable, and coming down to reality is not a letdown, but an act that is morally and emotionally grounding.

Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

“Don’t you know that you are my whole life? But I know no peace and cannot give you any. All of myself, my love...yes. I cannot think of you and myself separately. You and I are one for me. And I do not see the possibility of peace ahead either for me or for you. I see the possibility of despair, of unhappiness... or I see the possibility of happiness, such happiness!...Isn’t it possible?” he added with his lips only; but she heard him.

Related Characters: Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky (speaker), Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
Related Symbols: Written Language, Foreign Language, and Communication
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Vronsky and Anna communicate through a mixture of directly saying what they believe and letting many things go unsaid, but they both understand exactly what the other one is thinking. The bond between Anna and Vronsky is so strong that they can communicate with each other through gesture and thought, rather than merely through words. Although Anna and Vronsky often say out loud what they believe they should say to each other, what goes unsaid is more powerful than what they are pretending to say. Anna and Vronsky give lip service to the idea that they should separate and that Vronsky should try to make things right with Kitty, but their actions speak louder than their words, and the bond between them is stronger than societal conventions. When Vronsky articulates the love between Anna and himself, he says out loud that they are probably doomed to despair and unhappiness, but he and Anna both believe in the possibility that he does not say, which is the (unlikely) hope that they can be happy together.

She strained all the forces of her mind to say what she ought to say; but instead she rested her eyes on him, filled with love, and made no answer.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
Related Symbols: Written Language, Foreign Language, and Communication
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

Anna recognizes that according to all the conventions of the world around her, she should cut off her relationship with Vronsky: she is married, and entering an affair with him would be disgraceful and socially damaging. However, her emotions are too strong, and they override what she believes she ought to say. Instead of saying anything, she looks at Vronsky, and––as is the case throughout the novel––actions speak louder than words. The look that Anna gives Vronsky echoes the first time that they saw each other at the train station, when their momentary glance instantaneously cemented the connection between them. From the first time Vronsky saw Anna, he recognized the tension between the animation within her and the restraint that society placed on her emotions. Now, the animation spills over the restraint.

Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

And he felt as a murderer must feel when he looks at the body he has deprived of life. This body deprived of life was their love, the first period of their love... Shame at her spiritual nakedness weighed on her and communicated itself to him. But, despite all the murderer’s horror before the murdered body, he had to cut this body into pieces and hide it, he had to make use of what the murderer had gained by his murder.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina, Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

Just after Anna and Vronsky have sex for the first time, Vronsky compares the act to murdering the first stage of their relationship. Tolstoy does not describe the scene in which Anna and Vronsky consummate their relationship. Instead, he places a row of ellipses in the novel, which lets the reader know that they have made love, but also makes the reader responsible for assuming that they did so and for imagining the details of how this action occurred (and allows Tolstoy to escape the censorship of his time).

After Vronsky and Anna have had sex, the nature of their relationship changes. Although the couple are still bonded, and, in some ways, more closely tied together than ever, they have also confirmed their guilt through concrete action. There is no turning back at this point. Anna and Vronsky have objectively committed a societal trespass, and now their relationship moves from one of innuendo and possibility to one of dealing with real consequences.

“Not a word more,” she repeated, and with an expression of cold despair on her face, which he found strange, she left him. She felt that at that moment she could not put into words her feeling of shame, joy, and horror before this entry into a new life, and she did not want to speak of it, to trivialize this feeling with imprecise words. But later, too, the next day and the day after that, she not only found no words in which she could express all the complexity of these feelings, but was unable even to find thoughts in which she could reflect with herself on all that was in her soul.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker), Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Related Symbols: Written Language, Foreign Language, and Communication
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

Throughout the novel, events that go unspoken typically carry far more emotional weight than events that occur in words. On the one hand, Anna does not want to trivialize her experience with Vronsky by bringing it into the realm of mere language. She wants, instead, to retain the full mystery and complex nature of the event. Bringing the event into spoken language would also force Anna to reckon with the full consequences of her actions.

Anna does not want to process all of the complicated emotions she has as a result of having consummated her relationship with Vronsky, because that would force her to make choices that she does not want to make. When Vronsky and Anna had not slept together, their relationship could still dwell in the realm of plausible deniability. Anna rationalizes to herself that she is not processing their relationship fully by claiming to herself that she will do so in the future, but she continues to make more and more excuses for herself. Rather than letting the full weight of their action become something that Anna confronts and reckons with, the action becomes more and more powerful the longer it remains in the realm of the secretive and unspoken. When an action or emotion is put into words, it is abbreviated and made weaker, but when it goes unspoken, it can contain everything, so it gets stronger, for either good or for ill.

Part 4, Chapter 3 Quotes

“And this something turned, and I saw it was a muzhik with a disheveled beard, small and frightening. I wanted to run away, but he bent over a sack and rummaged in it with his hands...” And she showed how he rummaged in the sack. There was horror on her face. And Vronsky, recalling his dream, felt the same horror filling his soul.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker), Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Related Symbols: Written Language, Foreign Language, and Communication, Dreams and Spiritualism
Page Number: 361
Explanation and Analysis:

Vronsky and Anna have shared the shame dream. When Anna tells Vronsky about her dream of the French-speaking, bearded muzhik rummaging in a sack, unbeknownst to her, she is describing the same person that Vronsky saw in his nightmare. The two lovers are seemingly so bonded that they share a subconscious mind, but the figure in their shared dream arouses horror within both of them. Anna tells Vronsky that Karenin has read the dream to indicate that she will die in childbirth. Karenin’s role in the relationship is already quite shaky: he keeps up the façade of their marriage because he doesn’t want to ruin his reputation, yet he knows that this sham cannot last forever, and so he perceives the vision as causing an end to this fragile state of affairs. The fact that Anna is relaying Karenin’s version of the dream to Vronsky and seeking Vronsky’s reassurance underscores the complicated power dynamic between all of them: though Anna is psychologically and physically bonded with Vronsky, she is still socially bound to Karenin.

However, when Anna is telling Vronsky about the dream, she feels the first stirrings of her child kicking inside her, and her emotions change suddenly from horror to joy. Since Vronsky cannot share the physical cause of her joy, he is puzzled by her sudden shift. Despite the ominous nightmare, Anna, at this point, is still capable of experiencing happiness brought on by the physical world: though she is worried and superstitious, she hasn’t yet surrendered herself completely to omens and dreams.

Part 4, Chapter 12 Quotes

“I cannot forgive, I do not want to, and I consider it unjust. I did everything for that woman, and she trampled everything in the mud that is so suitable to her. I am not a wicked man, I have never hated anyone, but I hate her with all the strength of my soul, and I cannot even forgive her, because I hate her so much for all the evil she has done me!”

Related Characters: Count Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin (speaker), Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
Page Number: 394
Explanation and Analysis:

Karenin’s outburst against Anna arises as the culmination of emotions that he has kept bottled up for a long time. As the affair between Vronsky and Anna builds, Karenin becomes more and more uncomfortable talking about Anna, because he feels ashamed and cuckolded. At a dinner party at Oblonsky’s house, the men start discussing infidelity, which makes Karenin deeply uncomfortable. Karenin would rather not talk at all about Anna, preferring instead to maintain the façade of social respectability on all accounts, but when Dolly begs him to have a conversation with her about Anna, Karenin finally cracks and does so, revealing the deep anger brewing under his stoic surface.

Dolly pleads on Anna’s behalf to Karenin, begging him to forgive Anna and to do anything but divorce her. Dolly appeals to Karenin’s sense of fairness and rationality, arguing that because Anna had helped Dolly through Oblonsky’s infidelity, and because Anna had saved Dolly’s life, Karenin should pay the gesture forward and forgive Anna. Karenin is typically a man of reason and logic, and such arguments should have worked. However, in this situation, Karenin’s own irrefutable emotions override rationality. Even though he wants to keep up appearances, he also has a deeply stubborn streak, and because he feels he has been wronged, he cannot bend his own sense of the situation. Karenin’s outburst of emotion is surprising, because he typically does not reveal such passion, but in other ways, it is also comes as something of a relief, as it breaks the tension and reveals Karenin as a fully dimensional character capable of being hurt, rather than putting up with anything to maintain his reputation.

Part 7, Chapter 24 Quotes

“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be. But if you don’t love me, it would be better to say so.”

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker), Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Related Symbols: Written Language, Foreign Language, and Communication
Page Number: 744
Explanation and Analysis:

When Vronsky wants to delay traveling and getting married for a few days so that he can take care of business for his mother, Anna becomes hysterical, accusing Vronsky of using respect as an excuse to avoid committing himself to her. The leap of logic between Vronsky’s accusation that she doesn’t respect his mother and Anna’s assertion that Vronsky doesn’t love her makes little sense. Anna herself realizes that she’s going too far in making this link, but she cannot stop herself, even though she knows that she is going beyond the bounds of reason. Anna’s jealousy has warped her love for Vronsky into irrational, addictive possessiveness.

Tolstoy often uses the ability, or lack thereof, of characters to communicate without words as a barometer that demonstrates the strength of their relationship. In the beginning of their relationship, Anna and Vronsky hardly needed words at all to communicate, since their thoughts and emotions were in sync. With just the flicker of a glance across the platform at the railway station, they understood their love for each other and their bond to each other. However, as the novel progresses, Anna grows increasingly jealous and increasingly anxious about her relationship with Vronsky. She reads every situation as an opportunity to find a demonstration of how his love for her has dimmed.

Part 7, Chapter 30 Quotes

“No, you’re going in vain,” she mentally addressed a company in a coach-and-four who were evidently going out of town for some merriment. “And the dog you’re taking with you won’t help you. You won’t get away from yourselves.”

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker)
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 762
Explanation and Analysis:

As Anna is preparing to commit suicide at the train station, she projects her own despair onto her surroundings. Anna uses the sight of the innocent carriage-riders to express her own perturbed state of mind. She laments that these unknown travelers will never get away from themselves, which only underscores the all-consuming, self-centered nature of her own tragedy. Anna addresses the travelers in her mind, but it is really herself that she’s addressing. Anna can no longer perceive any other state of mind or emotion beyond that of her own despair. Anna’s misery has turned into a vortex that sucks in and distorts everything she sees.

Anna’s belief that everything in life is in vain mirrors Levin’s belief that everything humans do is in vain, but her approach is from a very different perspective. Anna has sacrificed everything in her life to feed her own desires, but she realizes that she can never get away from herself, and she concludes that her only option is to commit suicide. Levin, on the other hand, recognizes that even though life is futile, he can be happy by not attempting to rationalize everything, but instead accepting what life will offer him and living via faith and action. Anna’s solution to the futility of life rejects the idea of a higher power, but the fact that the novel continues after her death, and that it ends with Levin, not Anna, suggests that Tolstoy offers a worldview to the reader that promises redemption, despite Anna’s totalizing misery.

Part 7, Chapter 31 Quotes

And just at that moment when the midpoint between the two wheels came even with her, she threw the red bag aside and, drawing her head down between her shoulders, fell on her hands under the carriage, and with a light movement, as if preparing to get up again at once, sank to her knees.

Related Characters: Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (speaker)
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 768
Explanation and Analysis:

When Anna succeeds in committing suicide, she does not leap wildly; rather, her fall is premeditated, and she kneels before the train, as though in prayer, or as though she is about to be married. Kneeling suggests that Anna is submitting herself to a higher power. The “red bag” is an important detail in this scene, as it symbolically references many previous aspects of the plot. The red bag gets in the way when Anna initially tries to jump into the tracks, just as Vronsky’s gun got in the way when he attempted to commit suicide and he misfired.

Although the red bag prevents Anna from jumping in front of the first carriage, she does not take its role as a shield to be a sign that she should not go through with her action. Instead, she tosses the protective bag aside and prostrates herself in front of the next carriage. Red is the color of love and of blood: with the bag on her arm, Anna is symbolically wearing her heart on her sleeve. The color also recalls Anna’s red lips when she saw Vronsky at the train station at the beginning of the novel. At the beginning of the novel, red signified desire and lust; while it still signifies desire here, this passion pulls Anna toward death, not love.

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Anna Arkadyevna Karenina Character Timeline in Anna Karenina

The timeline below shows where the character Anna Arkadyevna Karenina appears in Anna Karenina. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
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...in with the barber, who shaves Oblonsky. A telegram arrives to say that Oblonsky’s sister, Anna, is coming to visit, which delights everyone: perhaps Anna will help Oblonsky and Dolly reconcile.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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Oblonsky got his job through Anna’s husband, Karenin, though he wouldn’t have had a difficult time finding a similar post in... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 17
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...morning, Oblonsky and Vronsky both arrive at the train station: Oblonsky is there to fetch Anna, and Vronsky is coming to meet his mother. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 18
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Vronsky’s mother, the Countess Vronsky, introduces her to him. The woman is Anna Karenina, Oblonsky’s sister. The Countess tells Vronsky that the two women chatted about their sons... (full context)
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As they all leave the station, a watchman is run over by a train. Anna is disturbed, viewing the death as a bad omen. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 19
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...with her children, isolating herself from society. Nevertheless, she has prepared the house carefully for Anna’s arrival. Anna meets Dolly compassionately and tells Dolly that Oblonsky has told Anna about the... (full context)
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Dolly tells Anna that she never thought that Oblonsky could be unfaithful. The worst part of the affair,... (full context)
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Anna convinces Dolly to forgive Oblonsky if Dolly still has love in her heart. Dolly asks... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 20
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Anna spends the whole day with Dolly and insists that Oblonsky dine at home. There is... (full context)
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Anna mentions that she met Vronsky at the train station, and Kitty blushes. Anna talks about... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 21
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Dolly and Oblonsky seem to have reconciled. Everyone has tea. Anna goes to her room to fetch a picture album. While she crosses the landing, a... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 22
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...bedecked with roses and a black velvet ribbon. Vronsky dances the first dance with her. Anna arrives in a low-cut black velvet dress, and even though Kitty had imagined her in... (full context)
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An officer asks Anna to dance, and she initially refuses. Vronsky approaches and bows to her, but Anna does... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 23
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...dance at the ball, because she is waiting for Vronsky to ask her. Kitty sees Anna and Vronsky dance together, and Anna looks triumphant. Kitty perceives that Anna has achieved the... (full context)
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...wallflower, but the evening is ruined. Kitty is crushed and broods on the interaction between Anna and Vronsky. Instead of admiring Anna wholeheartedly, Kitty now sees something threatening in her. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 28
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The morning after the ball, Anna makes arrangements to leave Moscow for Petersburg. Dolly’s children, who previously adored Anna, have intuitively... (full context)
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Anna tells Dolly that Kitty is jealous of Anna because of Vronsky’s attentions to Anna at... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 29
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Anna is relieved to be on the train leaving Moscow. She begins to read an English... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 30
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As Anna stands on the train platform in the snowstorm, Vronsky suddenly appears. He has followed her... (full context)
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The first face Anna sees when the train pulls into Petersburg is her husband’s, and the first thing she... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 31
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...slept on the train either, but he feels invigorated and pleased with the impression that Anna has made on him. Other people look like distant objects to him. When the train... (full context)
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Anna introduces Vronsky and Karenin to each other, and Vronsky asks if he might call on... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 32
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Anna is somewhat disappointed to see her son, since she has imagined him as an ideal... (full context)
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However, after the Countess Lydia leaves and another acquaintance comes and goes, Anna begins to feel less agitated. She tells herself that nothing has really happened with Vronsky... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 33
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Karenin is an extremely busy and punctual man. He and Anna typically dine with several people. Anna does not go out or to the theater because... (full context)
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...journey to Moscow. Karenin says that he cannot excuse Oblonsky’s actions, even though Oblonsky is Anna’s brother, and Anna likes this feature in Karenin. Karenin reads to keep up on all... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 34
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...chats with his friends before leaving to pay several visits in the hopes of finding Anna. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
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Anna is part of the best social circle in Petersburg and has particular friends in three... (full context)
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When Anna returns to Petersburg from Moscow, she begins spending more and more time with Princess Betsy’s... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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After the opera, Princess Betsy hosts her social set at her house. Before Vronsky, Anna, and Karenin arrive, several people gossip about the love triangle. Another society lady defends Anna,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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Anna arrives at Princess Betsy’s. Vronsky and an ambassador’s wife begin to argue about love and... (full context)
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Anna tells Vronsky that she has received word that Kitty is ill. She and Vronsky go... (full context)
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Karenin arrives at the party, but Vronsky and Anna continue to sit apart. The entire room gossips about Vronsky and Anna; only Karenin appears... (full context)
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After supper, Vronsky tells Anna that he wants her love, not her friendship. She tells Vronsky that the word “love”... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
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...a speech as though making a political resolution and cracks his knuckles. When he hears Anna arrive, he is pleased with his speech but nervous about the talk he is about... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
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When Anna returns home, she remarks to Karenin that she is surprised he isn’t in bed. Karenin... (full context)
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Karenin warns Anna that she has been too carefree and animated in her interactions with Vronsky. Anna lightly... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
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The argument between Anna and Karenin has marked a change in their relationship. Anna spends more and more time... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
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During the ellipses that mark the break after chapter 10 and before chapter 11, Anna and Vronsky sleep together, although there is no explicit description of the event. (full context)
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Anna is sobbing, wracked with shame, guilt, and humiliation. Vronsky feels like a murderer contemplating the... (full context)
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Anna tells herself that she will contemplate her relationship with Vronsky and the mixture of shame,... (full context)
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Anna has a recurring dream in which she is married to both Karenin and Vronsky, and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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Ever since the affair with Anna, Vronsky’s external life has continued in exactly the same fashion as before: he spends time... (full context)
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...when she realizes that the passion is interfering with Vronsky’s political ambitions. Vronsky’s passion for Anna does not, however, interfere with his passion for horses, and he eagerly anticipates an upcoming... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 19
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...day of the race, Vronsky eats lunch alone and schemes about how he can visit Anna to ask if she will come with him to the races. Though Vronsky is irritated... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
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...stables, although he and his friends both know that he is also going to visit Anna. First, however, Vronsky reads a letter from his mother reproaching him for not visiting and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 21
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...a fellow officer before the race; although he does not say he is also meeting Anna, the Englishman warns him to be calm before the race. In the carriage ride, Vronsky... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 22
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Vronsky arrives at Anna’s country house and enters through the garden. He is excited to see her, but then... (full context)
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Vronsky speaks to Anna in French, as “you” in Russian is either too intimate or too cold. He asks... (full context)
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Anna thinks that Vronsky will understand the significance of the event in the same way that... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 23
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Vronsky stresses to Anna that he thinks she should confess everything to Karenin and leave him. Anna does not... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 24
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...get excited. Vronsky changes unhurriedly and slips into the crowd, deliberately avoiding Princess Betsy and Anna. Vronsky’s brother tells him to answer his mother’s letter. Vronsky sees his only real rival... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 26
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Externally, the relationship between Karenin and Anna appears the same as ever. Internally, however, he is vexed and feels chilly toward her.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 27
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Just before the race, Anna is getting ready, and she is surprised to see Karenin appear at the country house.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 28
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Anna is already at the races when Karenin arrives, and though she pretends not to see... (full context)
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During the officers’ steeplechase, Karenin only has eyes for Anna, but Anna only has eyes for Vronsky, and despite not wanting to know her true... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 29
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When Vronsky falls, Anna is extremely shaken and feels like a trapped bird. She begins to weep. An officer... (full context)
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During the carriage ride home, Karenin rebukes Anna for behaving improperly. When Anna does not respond for a moment, Karenin thinks she will... (full context)
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Karenin stiffly asks Anna to keep up appearances. Anna receives a note from Vronsky saying that he would still... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 13
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...Karenin loses all ability to reason when he watches a woman or child cry. When Anna weeps on the way home from the races, Karenin refuses to look at her, which... (full context)
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...the societal scandal that would ensue. He decides that the best solution is to make Anna stop seeing Vronsky and for the marriage to continue; he believes that Anna and Vronsky... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 14
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When he arrives in Petersburg, Karenin goes straight to his study and writes Anna a letter in French, requesting that she return to Petersburg and enclosing money. He sends... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 15
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Despite the pain, and despite what is to come, Anna is glad that she confessed the affair to Karenin and relieved that she will not... (full context)
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Anna is distracted and distraught, but the maid says that her son is waiting for her... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 16
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As the house is preparing for Anna to leave for Moscow, Karenin’s letter arrives, and Anna is horrified when she reads that... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 17
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...are part of a new, elite social group in Petersburg that is openly hostile to Anna’s social circle. Anna knew that these ladies would be there, but she wanted to go... (full context)
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Betsy tells Anna that Vronsky is not coming to the party. Betsy writes a note to give to... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 18
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The ladies at Betsy’s party are beautiful and brilliant, with gorgeous clothes. Anna finds Liza more attractive than the others. Liza confesses to Anna that she’s bored and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 19
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...his mother has been withholding money, because she does not approve of his affair with Anna. Instead of asking his mother for money, he resolves to borrow money from a moneylender... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 20
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...has very clear codes of conduct that he follows throughout his life. His relationship with Anna is clear: he will treat her with respect; no one in society whispers a word... (full context)
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Vronsky also realizes that his affair with Anna has distracted him from his career ambitions. His childhood friend Serpukhovskoy has just received promotions... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 22
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...to be recognized, Vronsky uses another man’s hired carriage instead of his own to meet Anna. He is joyful and eager to see her. Anna informs Vronsky that she has told... (full context)
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Vronsky says that Anna must divorce Karenin. Anna says that this is impossible because of her son. Anna and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 23
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...and the entire office can talk of nothing but his triumph. The next day, however, Anna enters his study to say that she feels they cannot live as husband and wife.... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
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Though Anna and Karenin continue to live together formally, they are completely estranged; Vronsky never visits the... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2
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Vronsky receives a note from Anna one evening requesting that he meet her at her home while Karenin is out. Before... (full context)
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Vronsky does not believe that his relationship with Anna will come to an end. His career ambition has receded into the background. Anna is... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
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Anna is jealous that a particular actress was at a party Vronsky had attended, which makes... (full context)
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Anna says that the baby will arrive soon, but she also says that she will die... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 4
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...of society, and returns home, but he cannot sleep, as he is extremely angry that Anna has disobeyed his orders. The next morning, Karenin goes into Anna room and snatches Vronsky’s... (full context)
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Karenin is so furious that he can barely speak. He finally manages to tell Anna that he is leaving for Moscow and taking Seryozha with him. Anna begs Karenin to... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 5
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...recognizes Karenin’s name from public office. The lawyer is triumphantly delighted that Karenin has confessed Anna’s adultery to him. He says that adultery by mutual consent would be the simplest solution,... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 7
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...between him and Karenin. Oblonsky can tell by Karenin’s awkwardness that relations are strained between Anna and Karenin. Oblonsky has had a difference of opinion with his superior at work, but... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 8
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...to the lawyer to act at his discretion, enclosing the love letters from Vronsky to Anna. Oblonsky arrives, and Karenin turns down the dinner invitation, telling Oblonsky that he is starting... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 12
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...and Dolly have a private discussion, and she begs him to talk to her about Anna. Karenin insists that he will divorce her, and though Dolly pleads with him to relent,... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 17
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...of his at work has received the promotion Karenin wanted, and the other is from Anna, saying that she is dying and begging Karenin’s forgiveness. (full context)
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Though Karenin initially thinks Anna is lying just to get him to legitimize the child she is bearing, he decides... (full context)
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Anna calls for Vronsky, who enters hiding his face in his hands. Anna asks Karenin to... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 18
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...feels that he has been made ridiculous, and yet he is more in love with Anna than ever. (full context)
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When Vronsky goes home, he is unable to sleep; events with Anna and his humiliation turn around and around in his mind. Vronsky picks up a loaded... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 19
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Anna survives. Karenin had not considered that Anna might not die, but he still retains the... (full context)
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...have been hungry due to a dry wet nurse, which irritates Karenin, since he thinks Anna should be taking better care of her daughter. Karenin overhears Anna and Betsy having a... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 20
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When Karenin returns from talking to Betsy, Anna has been crying. He tells her that he is grateful that she has decided not... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 21
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Princess Betsy bumps into Oblonsky, who flirts with her, and they discuss Anna. They agree that Anna is wasting away and that Karenin is stifling her. Oblonsky is... (full context)
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Oblonsky tells Anna that she made a mistake in marrying an older man, and that there is one... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 22
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...for him, embarrassed when he goes to talk to Karenin. Oblonsky begins to talk about Anna, but Karenin hands him a letter that says that even though it is extremely painful,... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 23
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...longer feels so humiliated, but he does realize that he can no longer stand between Anna and Karenin: they must reconcile. He accepts a new post in the middle of Russia... (full context)
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Betsy tells Vronsky that Karenin is granting Anna a divorce, and Vronsky rushes to visit the Karenins’ house. He and Anna embrace. However,... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 5
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...deserve her. Dolly recalls other beautiful weddings of first innocent love, including her own and Anna’s. (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 7
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Vronsky and Anna have been traveling through Europe for three months, and they have arrived at a small... (full context)
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Golenishchev is struck by Anna’s beauty and the simplicity that Anna displays in her acceptance of the situation. He says... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 8
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In her liberated, recovered state, Anna feels joyful: the whole situation with her husband seems like a feverish dream. She has... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 9
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The palazzo that Anna and Vronsky have moved into helps Vronsky enter into the role of a cosmopolitan artist... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 10
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...and greets his guests. Though anxious about others’ opinions, what strikes him most deeply is Anna standing in the doorway and the play of shadows and light around her. He is... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 11
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...as a kindly but ignorant bureaucrat. Mikhailov is thrilled, as this was what he intended. Anna compliments Christ’s expression, seeing the pity in it; Mikhailov is again delighted. Vronsky, however, compliments... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 12
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Anna and Vronsky admire a small painting, which Mikhailov says he had forgotten about; it is... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 13
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Vronsky buys the small painting and commissions Mikhailov to do Anna’s portrait. The painter captures Anna’s special beauty, but Golenishchev still looks down on him because... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 21
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Karenin has acquiesced to all of Anna’s wishes, and he finds himself abandoned and disgraced in Petersburg. Although he tries to suppress... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 23
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...men all the time; now, she’s in love with Karenin. Lydia discovers that Vronsky and Anna are in Petersburg, but hides the fact from Karenin. Anna sends Lydia a letter asking... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 24
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...carefully to look her best for Karenin. They discuss Seryozha’s education. Lydia tells Karenin that Anna is in Petersburg and he blanches, horrified, which makes Lydia more infatuated than ever. (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 25
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Lydia shows Karenin Anna’s letter, and Karenin is willing to grant Anna’s request, but Lydia talks him out of... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 27
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Seryozha doesn’t believe that Anna has actually died, and whenever he goes for a walk, he looks for her: his... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 28
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Vronsky and Anna stay in separate hotel suites in Petersburg. Vronsky has been deluding himself regarding how Russian... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 29
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Anna’s main goal in Petersburg is to see Seryozha, but she realizes that her position as... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 30
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When Seryozha’s tutor figures out who Anna is, he doesn’t know what to do, but hearing their happy reunion, he decides to... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 31
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Anna hadn’t anticipated the strong effect that seeing Seryozha would have on her. Her love for... (full context)
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When Vronsky and the guest arrive, Vronsky looks at the pictures of Seryozha, but Anna quickly takes the pictures away. Anna invites the prince to dinner. Anna asks Vronsky when... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 32
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Vronsky returns home to find that Anna is out with a lady. Her behavior has seemed strange to him lately, and he... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 33
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Vronsky is vexed that Anna appears to deliberately refuse to understand her position in society. Appearing at the opera in... (full context)
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At the opera, all eyes are on Anna. In the box next to Anna’s are acquaintances of Anna’s. The wife appears quite agitated... (full context)
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When Vronsky returns home, Anna has already arrived. She says that the woman in the box next to hers told... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 2
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...they chat about their marriage proposals. Dolly says that Kitty was lucky that Vronsky met Anna, while this event was unfortunate for Anna; Kitty, however, says she refuses to think about... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 7
...men make plans to go shooting the next morning. Veslovsky says he’s been to see Anna and that she and Vronsky are just fifty miles away. Levin interprets every innocuous move... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 14
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Veslovsky discusses Anna’s situation with Kitty, which makes Kitty feel very unpleasant, because she can’t help but feel... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 16
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Dolly goes to see Anna, using Levin’s carriage (Levin insists, as a good host). During the drive, she has time... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 17
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When the coachman stops to ask a peasant for direction, four people on horseback appear: Anna, Vronsky, Veslovsky, and Princess Varvara (Anna’s elderly aunt). Dolly is at first slightly taken aback... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 18
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Anna looks at Dolly’s thin face, with dust caught in its wrinkles, and remembers that she... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 19
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...is more fashionably attired than she is, and Dolly feels ashamed of her patched clothes. Anna takes Dolly to see baby Annie in the luxurious nursery, which makes Dolly uncomfortable, because... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 20
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Princess Varvara speaks to Dolly in a very patronizing, condescending manner; she happily condones Anna and Vronsky’s relationship. Dolly recognizes that Princess Varvara doesn’t care what Anna and Vronsky are... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 21
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Vronsky asks Dolly to speak with him. He wants to legalize his arrangement with Anna; if they have more children, they are technically still Karenin’s now, but Vronsky sees himself... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 22
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...taken a great deal of work, and she shrewdly recognizes that it is Vronsky, not Anna, who makes all the household arrangements, whereas Anna is the hostess who guides the conversation.... (full context)
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...the conversation turns to Levin, Dolly defends him. Vronsky has many responsibilities in government, to Anna’s chagrin. Dolly feels uncomfortable during dinner; she also feels awkward when they play lawn tennis,... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 23
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When Dolly is about to go to bed, Anna comes in to talk about everything she had wanted to talk about during the day,... (full context)
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Dolly raises the topic of divorce. There is an ellipsis in the text, during which Anna tells Dolly a secret. The text resumes, with Dolly completely appalled. Anna says that she... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 24
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...continues to insist that divorce is necessary and that they should have a legal bond. Anna says that the thought of divorce drives her mad: even if she knows she should... (full context)
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...comes home, she is so happy to be back that she can be sweet about Anna and Vronsky. (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 25
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Vronsky and Anna continue to spend the summer and part of the autumn in the same conditions, without... (full context)
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...and Koznyshev, among others, are all eligible to vote in the provincial elections. Vronsky and Anna come close to fighting when he goes to the elections, but they ultimately avoid a... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 31
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...to go out for more amusement after dinner. Vronsky’s butler brings in a letter from Anna, which already annoys him, since he knows it will be a message that he should... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 32
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Although Anna tries to remain composed and mature when Vronsky goes to the elections, the stern look... (full context)
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...is beautiful, but her beauty is no longer a thrill for Vronsky. Annie has recovered. Anna tells Vronsky that she never wants to be separated from him again; if there’s business... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 8
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...Levin is bored and goes off to find Oblonsky and other friends. Oblonsky is discussing Anna with Vronsky, and Oblonsky insists that Levin and Vronsky be friends. After playing cards, Oblonsky... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 9
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...Levin is in the carriage, he begins to have second thoughts about going to visit Anna, but Oblonsky reassures him that it will be fine. Anna’s divorce has been dragging on... (full context)
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Levin sees the portrait of Anna done in Italy by Mikhailov, the painter, and he is mesmerized by the woman’s beauty.... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 10
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Levin feels at ease in Anna’s company. He praises paintings that prize realism rather than invention. Anna’s other guest says that... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 11
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On the way home, Levin obsessively thinks about Anna. He tells Kitty that he has reconciled with Vronsky, and admits, blushing, that he has... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 12
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Anna knows she’s been successful in making Levin fall in love with her, as she’s been... (full context)
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When Vronsky returns, Anna does not want to fight with him, but she inevitably enters into a quarrel about... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 17
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...to Petersburg to discuss the position with two ministers; while he’s there, he has promised Anna to get an answer from Karenin about the divorce. Oblonsky asks Karenin to put in... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 18
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Oblonsky turns the subject to Anna and the divorce. Karenin says that he thought the matter was closed, since he refused... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 19
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Before Oblonsky leaves, Anna’s son, Seryozha (now called Sergei Alexeich), comes in; Karenin says that the boy was very... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 22
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...Oblonsky, completely perplexed and unnerved, leaves without asking either about his own promotion or about Anna’s divorce. He goes to the French Theatre to adjust back to normal society. The next... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 23
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...the narrator tells the reader, spouses must either be in complete discord or complete harmony. Anna and Vronsky are in an uncomfortable middle state. Both want to leave Moscow and live... (full context)
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Anna and Vronsky have quarreled over the education of the little English girl Anna is caring... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 24
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When Vronsky returns, he and Anna are both in good spirits, but their moods quickly sour when they quarrel over when... (full context)
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Anna storms off in a jealous rage, believing that Vronsky is in love with another woman... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 25
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Anna begins preparing for departure; though she’s in a good mood, Vronsky’s mentioning that he’s going... (full context)
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...forced lightness about the friend’s gambling habits. Before he leaves the house, Vronsky comes to Anna’s room to talk to her, but she is still cold to him, and he leaves... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 26
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Anna and Vronsky had never before had a quarrel that lasted a whole day. Anna imagines... (full context)
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Anna drinks opium and imagines Vronsky’s remorse if she were to die. She looks at him... (full context)
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Anna tells Vronsky that he is going to the country tomorrow. He says that they cannot... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 27
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Anna gives a servant a note to Vronsky, telling him that she is to blame and... (full context)
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Anna’s maid reminds Anna that she had wanted to go to Dolly’s, but Anna is still... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 28
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As Anna travels to Dolly’s house, her rambling musings and thoughts are extremely disconnected and disjointed: the... (full context)
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Kitty is also visiting, but Dolly comes out alone to receive Anna. Anna asks to read the letter that Karenin sent Oblonsky refusing the divorce, but when... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 29
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On the way home, Anna convinces herself that Kitty despises her. A man in the street tips his hat to... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 30
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On the way to the station, Anna analyzes everyone she sees as hopeless and doomed. She determines that the zest is gone... (full context)
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...get her a ticket. She gives him her money-purse but holds onto her red handbag. Anna goes to the first-class lounge and watches all the people go by; she is revolted... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 31
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Anna boards the train. All the other passengers appear hideous to her. Outside the train, bending... (full context)
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Anna walks along the platform. She remembers the man who was run over by the train... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 1
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It is two months after Anna’s death. Koznyshev has published his book after six years’ work. He expects it to cause... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 2
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When Oblonsky sees Vronsky, he forgets about the Vronsky who sobbed over Anna’s dead body and only sees Vronsky the military hero. The woman chatting with Koznyshev points... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 4
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...past Vronsky’s apartment and sees Vronsky’s mother, though not Vronsky. She tells him that after Anna’s death, for six weeks, Vronsky refused to speak to anyone and would only eat when... (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 5
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...physical energy. As he and Koznyshev walk, Vronsky's tooth begins to ache. A vision of Anna’s corpse suddenly flashes before his eyes, and sobs distort his face for a few moments... (full context)