Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina


Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina: Part 6, Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Dolly goes to see Anna, using Levin’s carriage (Levin insists, as a good host). During the drive, she has time to think about her life, which is typically occupied from morning to night with her children. All she has done during her marriage, she feels, is be pregnant and raise children; she is no longer attractive, and their family is in a poor financial situation. Dolly envies the peasant women she sees. She begins to be jealous of Anna as well. Dolly daydreams about having an affair with another society man.
The carriage ride gives Dolly the rare opportunity for meditation on her circumstances, and Tolstoy narrates her reflections about her life. Dolly is jealous of every woman around her, even Anna, because they all seem to be living their lives to the fullest, whereas she is trapped in a loveless marriage (these reflections also serve to satirize the way that everyone has a tendency to think that other people have it better). Dolly fantasizes about having an affair of her own, imagining with glee that Oblonsky would be astonished and horrified. Yet Dolly only fantasizes, which creates a contrast between her and Anna.
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