Although Levin thinks he is more intelligent than Kitty or Agafya, he realizes that they have a deep wisdom about death that he will never have. Levin is extremely uncomfortable around Nikolai and cannot face the fact of his brother’s death, but Kitty is able to take care of him. Whereas Levin can do nothing, Kitty is extremely practical and active, like a soldier preparing for battle. Kitty and Levin discuss Nikolai’s religious necessities.
Tolstoy frequently uses metaphors of battle to depict when certain characters come into their elements. Vronsky shines in the competitive atmosphere of the horserace; Anna vanquishes all at the first ball. Kitty’s triumph comes in taking care of others: though she may appear somewhat silly and flirtatious in other aspects, in a domestic crisis, she rises to the top.