After his night on the haystack, Levin now loathes the farming he once loved: by spending time as one of the peasants, he is thoroughly angered by their struggle against his reforms. Levin wants to help the peasants with innovations to ease their labor, but the peasants don’t want to change how they’ve always done things.
Though Levin has ambitious plans for innovations in farming that seem terrific in theory, in practice, they don’t work: the peasants want to live their lives the way they know how and Levin is, ultimately, an outsider in their world.
Levin is also uncomfortable because Kitty is just twenty miles away, and he wants to see her but cannot. He refuses to be Kitty’s second choice. Dolly tries to scheme a meeting between them by asking Levin to bring over a side-saddle, but Levin sees through the plot and sends over the saddle with no note. To distract himself, he goes to visit his friend Sviyazhsky to go snipe-shooting in the countryside.
Unlike Vronsky, who cares for himself only, or Oblonsky, who can freely forget about Dolly when other pretty women are nearby, Levin’s emotions are constantly keyed to Kitty. However, his pride and embarrassment are just as strong as his desire.