During the argument with his brother, Levin has been distracted by the question of whether or not he should mow alongside the peasants this year, as he did last year. He decides to mow because he needs the physical labor to feel fulfilled. Levin gets his mower re-sharpened. Although he begins clumsily, Levin gradually adjusts to the work and begins to enjoy it tremendously.
Levin’s argument with Koznyshev has made him uncertain whether or not it is proper for him to mow with the peasants, but he dismisses these concerns from his mind. His initial awkwardness attests to how he has been separated from the land and physical labor, and his gradual growing comfort shows how one can reconnect and how labor itself has a kind of dignity to it that is more fluid and peaceful than all the "thinking" going on in the city.