Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Oblonsky can’t trick himself into pretending that he feels guilty about his behavior: he only feels guilty that he got caught. He rationalizes to himself that one has to live life to the fullest, and though he realizes that perhaps sleeping with the governess had taken things a bit too far, he is surprised that Dolly should be so shocked.
Oblonsky doesn’t feel guilty about his actual deeds: he only feels remorse that he was found out. Oblonsky is much more motivated by exterior fashions and is ruled by the context in which his actions appear rather than an internal sense of morals or convictions.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Oblonsky’s valet comes 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. The servants know all about the domestic quarrel, and even though they know Oblonsky is in the wrong, they can’t help but be on his side, and they want to save the marriage.
Oblonsky is pleasant with his servants and good friends with his valet. Oblonsky’s exuberance for life and his abundant love of pleasure overflows to affect the servants. Even though the whole household is on Dolly’s side rationally, they are all on Oblonsky’s side emotionally, and they want to reconcile the family to go back to the old, happy ways.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon