Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

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Blushing Symbol Analysis

Blushing Symbol Icon
Throughout the novel, blushing is an important sign of emotion: even though characters might not be able to say what they’re feeling, their actions speak louder than words, and their appearance reveals deep physical sensations. Characters blush out of embarrassment—when Levin is courting Kitty, for example, and he first confesses his love for Kitty to Oblonsky, he is deeply embarrassed and awkward, and the blushing reveals that his emotions run deep. When Levin develops a crush on Anna later in the novel, his blush guiltily gives him away to Kitty before he can confess verbally. Blushing demonstrates true emotion that runs in the blood and cannot be masked, despite the demands of society. Although Karenin wants to remain composed and collected throughout Anna’s affair, his blushing gives away the fact that he does have emotions under his chilly exterior. However, sometimes blushing is a false positive, or a holdover from a prior emotional state. When Kitty and Levin are happily married, Kitty sees Vronsky and blushes, but the reddening is more from embarrassment at the conduct of her former self than due to any new sensations.
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Blushing Symbol Timeline in Anna Karenina

The timeline below shows where the symbol Blushing appears in Anna Karenina. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 5
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Blushing furiously, Levin asks Oblonsky how the Shcherbatskys––Oblonsky’s in-laws––are doing. Oblonsky knows that Levin is in... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Physical Activity and Movement Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
...as expected, he finds Kitty skating. Kitty skates unsteadily towards him, and Levin finds himself blushing and stammering. Levin rents skates and takes the ice with Kitty. He is an excellent... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 20
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Anna mentions that she met Vronsky at the train station, and Kitty blushes. Anna talks about Vronsky’s mother, and Anna says that she will call on her tomorrow. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 26
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Farming and Rural Life Theme Icon
...peasants at elections. The snipe-shooting that day is not very good. At tea afterwards, Levin blushes and feels awkward around the sister-in-law, who is wearing a dress with a plunging neckline. (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 4
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
...for Moscow and taking Seryozha with him. Anna begs Karenin to leave Seryozha, but Karenin blushes and leaves the room. (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 1
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
One evening, Kitty meets Vronsky again; though she blushes at first, she comports herself well. Although Levin is angry at first when she tells... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 10
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
...When he regretfully takes his leave, Anna tells Levin to send Kitty her love. Levin blushes. (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 11
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
...obsessively thinks about Anna. He tells Kitty that he has reconciled with Vronsky, and admits, blushing, that he has seen Anna; she immediately can tell that he has fallen in love... (full context)
Part 7, Chapter 28
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...sees Anna, her hostility immediately disappears. Anna, cruelly, sends her regards to Levin, and Kitty blushes, but remains calm and compassionate. (full context)
Part 8, Chapter 7
Marriage and Family Life  Theme Icon
Physical Activity and Movement Theme Icon
Society and Class  Theme Icon
Farming and Rural Life Theme Icon
...that Agafya does not give them unwashed linen to sleep in; the idea makes her blush. Kitty would rather that Levin be an honest unbeliever than a hypocrite like Madame Stahl.... (full context)