Kitty and Levin have just returned from a trip to Moscow, and they are in the study. Levin is writing a chapter in his book, claiming that Russia’s poverty is due to importing European infrastructure and that urban growth is stunting Russian agriculture; trains, he argues, should help contribute to farming across the country, rather than concentrate all energy in a few industrial hubs.
Levin argues that importing Continental methods and transplanting them wholesale into Russia is a mistake; instead, Russia needs to pay attention to how the country itself should be organized, what its unique Russian needs are. Levin doesn’t approve of Russian people putting on artificial European airs, and he doesn’t want Russia to blindly copy other countries.
Kitty thinks that Levin is jealous of a prince who flirted with her in Moscow. She looks at the nape of his neck; he turns around, and they kiss. Levin thinks that his married life is somewhat indulgent—he hasn’t done serious work in three months, and he thinks Kitty never does serious work at all. He does not understand that Kitty is preparing to have a baby.
While Levin tries to concentrate on his theories and political treatises, Kitty is concentrating on the work of pregnancy. Still new to married life and women, Levin doesn’t understand at this point how to recognize the work that a woman is doing. He and Kitty share a deep bond, but he still has much to learn.