Oblonsky is in Petersburg, and Dolly has moved with the children to their country estate for the summer. Although Oblonsky was supposed to make sure that the necessary repairs were done, he only saw that the house was decorated well, and Dolly is in despair. The house is leaking, there are no eggs or milk, and everything is in disorder. However, thanks to the help of the children’s nurse, things gradually get fixed. With six children, Dolly cannot completely fall to pieces, since she must take care of their health.
Oblonsky thinks he has taken care of the country estate by adding nice curtains and flowers, but he doesn’t take care of any of the major structural problems. Although Dolly is utterly distressed, with the help of the children’s nurse and for the sake of the children, she takes care of things. The situation with the house mirrors the Oblonsky’s marriage: Oblonsky thinks by making things look all right, they will be better, but Dolly does the major repair work.