A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

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A Gentleman in Moscow: Book 5, Adulthood Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Count and Anna sit in the actress’s suite, waiting for the big reveal. Marina opens the bedroom door to show Sofia in a blue, long-sleeved, trumpet-style gown. Anna gasps in awe, while the Count simply sees his daughter as crossing the threshold into adulthood.
The Count is amazed by Sofia’s passage into adulthood, and knows that he has fulfilled the responsibility of a parent that he laid out when she had her accident: to allow her to lead a life of purpose.
Themes
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count and Anna compliment Sofia on how beautiful she looks. Sofia spins in delight, and the Count sees that the dress is completely backless. He sputters in fatherly protectiveness, saying that he does not want the audience to be staring at her back instead of listening to her playing. Anna asks Sofia what she thinks, and she says that it is splendid. Anna gives her one final ornament: a choker with a sapphire pendant.
With the reveal of Sofia’s dress, Anna and the Count demonstrate their different parent/advisor roles; the Count is a protective and tradition-minded father, as always. Anna also takes on a parental role with Sofia, as she does not have any children of her own, enabling Sofia to make her own decisions as an adult. Thus there is a bond between the three of them that takes on the quality of a more traditional family.
Themes
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Anna and the Count walk down the hallway after the fitting. Anna asks the Count why he is being so stodgy. He says that he is Sofia’s father, and he has a certain responsibility in that role. The Count then says goodbye and exits into the service stair to get to the Boyarsky’s daily meeting. Anna follows him into the stairwell. The Count is put off by her joining him, and continues his argument by saying that the dress did not have to show all of Sofia’s vertebrae. Anna points out that he has often admired her own vertebrae, and backs him against the wall.
Just as the Count was hesitant to learn that Anna and Sofia were speaking to each other without his knowing, the Count takes on a certain protectiveness of Sofia, perhaps because he is unsure of how to fit his relationship with Anna and his relationship with Sofia together. Yet the span and depth of his and Anna’s relationship lends it a maturity that also allows Anna to be a part of Sofia’s life.
Themes
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Later, the Count, Emile, Andrey, and the Bishop all sit in the Bishop’s office. The Boyarsky’s daily meeting has been moved to this location in April on the grounds that the kitchen was distracting. The Bishop looks over Emile’s menu and edits it, then moves on to making instructions on the seating arrangements for the night.
The Bishop continues his reign of tyranny and micromanagement over the Boyarsky’s daily meetings, as through the years the animosity between the Count and the Bishop has remained the same, only the Bishop has gained more power over him.
Themes
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
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The Bishop asks about the preparations for the dinner of the Presidium and the Council of Ministers. Andrey assures him that everything is in order and that the Count will be overseeing the dinner while he remains at the Boyarsky. The Bishop then switches their assignments, noting the event’s importance. The Count goes cold, as he had been banking on overseeing the dinner for his escape plan. As the meeting ends, he asks Andrey to spare a moment.
As meticulously as the Count tries to prepare for his escape, fate (and the Bishop) finds a way to intervene in his plans. And so, he must enlist the help of his friends in order to make sure that he can sit in on the government dinner.
Themes
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon