Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina


Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina: Part 1, Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Dolly and Oblonsky seem to have reconciled. Everyone has tea. Anna goes to her room to fetch a picture album. While she crosses the landing, a visitor arrives: it is Vronsky. They glance at each other and feel both pleasure and fear. Vronsky finds out the details of an upcoming dinner and leaves without coming inside. Even though there is nothing explicitly strange in the episode, the situation feels tense.
Many of the deepest emotions throughout the novel happen under the surface. Dolly and Oblonsky reconcile without needing to make huge speeches; instead, they simply resume their normal rhythms and spousal patter. Vronsky and Anna’s glances contain deep passion that has not yet bubbled to the surface.
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon