Executing his plan is difficult. Levin tells the peasants that they will get to keep shares of the profits on the land that they work, but the peasants are so busy that they don’t react to his speech, and their instinct is always to mistrust the wealthy landowner. Despite the fact that the peasants don’t listen to him and refuse to take up his innovations, Levin keeps working doggedly on his project, and this––as well as reading books on political economy and socialism as he works on his book about farming––occupies his whole summer.
The peasants lead their lives without thinking about what would be best for them in theory—instead, they live day by day. Though Levin reacts against this, throwing himself vigorously into trying to solve all their problems through philosophy and theory, he also realizes that the solutions must work in practice, not just on the page. He also uses his research into peasant life as a way to distract himself from moping about Kitty.