Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina Part 4, Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Anna survives. Karenin had not considered that Anna might not die, but he still retains the spiritual joy that comes with his forgiveness. He forgives Anna, Vronsky, and the baby girl. However, he realizes that his relations with his wife are strained. Anna cannot look Karenin in the eye. Anna’s daughter, also named Anna, falls ill. Princess Betsy comes to visit, which disturbs Karenin, as he feels that society women have taken too much interest in Anna since her illness.
Once the scare that Anna might die has gone away, Karenin’s emotions recede to their normal coolness, but he still feels spiritually superior (and he always enjoys feeling superior). Meanwhile, Anna feels deeply ashamed and guilty, both because of the concrete manifestation of her infidelity (in other words, the baby) and because Karenin takes the moral high road.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The baby may just 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 conversation about Vronsky; he enters the room, and Anna tells them both that she has refused to allow Vronsky to call. Betsy tells Karenin that she thinks he should allow Vronsky to visit, but Karenin says that it’s Anna’s decision.
Anna does not have the same kind of bond with her daughter that she does with her son, demonstrating some shakiness in her bond with Vronsky as well: if she truly was meant to be with Vronsky, they should form a seamless and natural family unit, rather than a complicated one in which Karenin and Vronsky are somehow both the baby’s father.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon