Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina Part 4, Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Anna is jealous that a particular actress was at a party Vronsky had attended, which makes Vronsky feel less affectionate toward her. Anna’s beauty has faded since they first met, both morally and physically; however, he recognizes that they have an unbreakable bond between them. Anna knows that jealousy is a character flaw that emerges unbidden (she and Vronsky call it “the demon”), and she tries to quash it. Anna can imitate Karenin flawlessly, which makes them both laugh. She calls him a puppet, not a man.
Anna’s pregnancy means that she can no longer rely on her physical beauty as a magnet for Vronsky, and since her appearance is so central to her conception of herself and the bond she feels she has over Vronsky, she becomes increasingly jealous of Vronsky’s actions around other women: she knows that they are more beautiful than she right now, and she feels powerless against them, which makes her jealousy grow.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Anna says that the baby will arrive soon, but she also says that she will die in childbirth. Anna describes a dream she had about a peasant with a dirty beard who speaks in French, just like Vronsky’s dream. Although she is horrified, all at once her face changes from horror to bliss as the baby stirs inside her.
Anna and Vronsky’s shared dream indicates both that there is a deep bond between them but that this bond is doomed to despair. Despite the omens of doom, Anna does feel joy when the baby quickens inside her. At the same time, the pregnancy is a visible sign of the affair, while earlier the suggestion has been that Russian society will accept the affair so long as it is kept out of sight.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon