The Prince makes everyone around him lighthearted. However, because he revealed the sinister side of Petrov’s family as well as Madame Stahl, Kitty feels as though her new, happy life has been infected. The Petrovs are packing to leave, and Kitty wants to go with Varenka to help them pack, but Varenka tells her not to go.
Even though Kitty’s father is merry, his presence has pulled the wool from Kitty’s eyes and made her realize both the falsity of Madame Stahl as well as the trouble in her relationship with the Petrov family. Varenka urges her not to cause any more rifts by appearing at the Petrov house.
Kitty has a fit, claiming that she is a bad person and that she can only live by her heart. Varenka thinks Kitty is chastising her, but Kitty says she is only blaming herself. Kitty and Varenka make up, but Kitty is forever changed. She realizes that that she cannot make everyone love her. When she and her family return to Moscow, she is no longer a carefree young girl, but she is at peace with herself.
Kitty, in a spasm of emotion, realizes that she lives by her heart and that she can’t deceive those around her. Although she seems to blame Varenka at first, Kitty is actually only speaking about herself. Her father’s cynical view of her friends at the spa has made Kitty realize she must lead her own life, not imitate another’s, and that not everyone will love her.