Madame Stahl gives Kitty religious instruction. Despite Madame Stahl’s compassion, Kitty doubts whether or not she is fully sincere in her Christian morals; however, Kitty never doubts Varenka’s goodness. Kitty begins to imitate Varenka’s example as well as her physical mannerisms.
Kitty sees through some of Madame Stahl’s falseness: though Madame Stahl professes piety, she is not always sincere. Kitty is so smitten with Varenka’s example that she mimics her every move.
Under Varenka’s patronage, Kitty befriends an ill painter named Petrov. At first, Petrov’s family adores Kitty, but eventually, Petrov’s wife becomes jealous of Kitty’s attachment to her husband and son. Petrov is too warm to Kitty, his wife is too chilly to her, and the situation becomes awkward.
Kitty tries to follow Varenka’s example by befriending the ailing painter, but the situation goes awry when her attachment to the painter and his son grows too close for his wife’s comfort. Perhaps Kitty is more naturally flirtatious or more beautiful than Varenka, but this moment suggests the tension in the novel between intention and impact—you can mean and intend one thing, but it is somewhat out of your control how those around you, or society at large, will respond.