Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina


Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina: Part 5, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Princess Shcherbatsky, Kitty’s mother, agrees to hold the wedding before Lent and begins preparing part of the trousseau at once. Levin’s bliss persists. To get married, Levin must take communion, which involves an elaborate ordeal of prayers, and Levin feels uncomfortable, because he is not really a zealous believer. Levin confesses to the priest that he has doubts about religion, and the priest says that he should think of his future children. Levin is pleased that he did not have to lie during his confession and that he doesn’t have to think much more about it.
As a staunch atheist, the only fly in Levin’s blissful wedding preparations is that he must go through an elaborate cycle of prayers and confessions, but he realizes that the rituals don’t necessarily mean that he himself has to believe, or even that he’s being hypocritical, because everything is for the sake of his family and future children—he can still believe whatever he chooses without feeling as though he is lying to everyone.
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