Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina Part 4, Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Vronsky’s wound missed the heart, but it was still dangerous; he is touch-and-go for a while, but he eventually becomes conscious again. He no longer feels so humiliated, but he does realize that he can no longer stand between Anna and Karenin: they must reconcile. He accepts a new post in the middle of Russia and prepares to leave.
Vronsky’s heart is still intact, both emotionally and physically. Like Anna, he almost dies, but ends up recovering. The failed suicide makes him realize that he has no place in Anna and Karenin’s existence as a married couple.
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Betsy tells Vronsky that Karenin is granting Anna a divorce, and Vronsky rushes to visit the Karenins’ house. He and Anna embrace. However, later, Anna believes there is something terrible in their happiness, and she tells Vronsky that Karenin is being too generous with her and they she cannot accept his offer of divorce. Vronsky refuses the position in central Russia and resigns his commission. Anna and Vronsky go abroad to Italy, leaving Seryozha in the house alone with Karenin.
When Vronsky thinks that Karenin will divorce Anna, he sees a clear mode of existence for himself and Anna as a couple, and he abandons his career ambitions, choosing instead to follow his selfish societal and emotional ambitions. Vronsky always decides to live his life for his own benefit and by what he desires. Yet Anna experiences Karenin’s generosity as a kind of affront, and so refuses his offer.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Compassion and Forgiveness Theme Icon