A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow


Amor Towles

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Anna had watched with satisfaction as the Count hung her blouse in the closet, but on her trip back to St. Petersburg, it troubles her. Gradually, she finds it infuriating that he would be so bold as to hang her blouse in the closet.
Anna’s fury perhaps stems from the fact that she values her independence, and is frustrated that the Count thinks she would have to rely on him to take care of herself. This may be one of the reasons they never develop a traditional relationship, despite their love for each other.
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Anna’s fury grows to the point where one night, returning from a party, she throws her red silk gown on the floor and instructs the staff not to pick it up. Every night for two weeks, she continues to throw her clothing on the floor until her dresser, Olga, tells Anna that she is acting like a child and needs to pick up her clothes. In response, Anna picks up twenty outfits and throws them out the window into the street below. When Olga tells her that the neighbors will be entertained to see evidence of her petulance, Anna responds that she doesn’t care about her neighbors. But at two in the morning, Anna comes down the stairs and picks up her clothes.
This fury reveals some of Anna’s stubbornness, which perhaps derives from her status as a famous actress in her mid-twenties. When Anna reappears in the novel several years later, she has come to realize how important the public’s perceptions of her are. Regardless of her talent, she must adapt to changes in public opinion in order to continue her career.
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