Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Anna is already at the races when Karenin arrives, and though she pretends not to see him, Princess Betsy calls him over, and Karenin sits with them in the pavilion. Anna hates deceit, but as she listens to her husband speak about horseracing to a colleague, she reflects that all Karenin wants is to get ahead in his career and has no trouble lying, and she is disgusted.
After presenting the race from Vronsky’s perspective, Tolstoy also writes the steeplechase scene from Anna’s point of view. Anna hates that she is lying to her husband, but everything about him now is physically and morally grating to her—all of his flaws appear magnified to her now the he stands between her and Vronsky.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Physical Activity and Movement Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
During the officers’ steeplechase, Karenin only has eyes for Anna, but Anna only has eyes for Vronsky, and despite not wanting to know her true feelings, Karenin reads with horror Anna’s love for Vronsky written all across her face. Anna is only concerned for Vronsky’s safety; when one of the other men falls, the crowd reacts, but Anna does not. Anna can feel Karenin’s eyes on her, but the only person she cares about is Vronsky.
The direction of each person’s gaze during the steeplechase reflects the love triangle. Karenin watches Anna, Anna watches Vronsky, and Vronsky barrels forward carelessly. Anna knows that Karenin is watching her, but she cannot force herself to care—her entire attention is focused on Vronsky.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Physical Activity and Movement Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon