Anna is relieved to be on the train leaving Moscow. She begins to read an English novel, but she cannot concentrate. Rather than read about other peoples’ lives, she wants to live her own. As she reads, she begins to feel ashamed, recalling her time with Vronsky. Because of the snowstorm outside, objects in the train take on strange shapes, and she begins to feel over-stimulated and somewhat paranoid. She steps outside, where things right themselves in the fresh air.
Just as Anna wore the black dress so that she stood out against her clothing rather than the other way around, so she feels ambivalent toward novels, because she wants to be the star of her own life. The events in the novel remind her of what has happened with Vronsky, and she begins to feel ashamed and paranoid. The fresh air, however, revives her.