Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina


Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina: Part 6, Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

When the coachman stops to ask a peasant for direction, four people on horseback appear: Anna, Vronsky, Veslovsky, and Princess Varvara (Anna’s elderly aunt). Dolly is at first slightly taken aback to see Anna, a mature woman, on horseback. Anna is thrilled to see Dolly. Dolly is not pleased to see Princess Varvara, who is a notorious sponger. Vronsky’s party has an elegant carriage, which forms a sharp contrast against Levin’s ill-matched carriage that Dolly is riding in. Dolly and Anna ride in Dolly’s carriage back to Anna’s house, and the other continue alongside. Some peasants mistake Veslovsky for a woman because he rides sidesaddle.
Unlike Levin’s house, in which everyone is comfortable with each other and all the relationships are based on families, the party at the Vronsky estate is comprised of people put together through a variety of socially questionable circumstances: the visitors are all there because they want to live off the fat of the land at the Vronsky estate, and Anna and Vronsky are not a jolly, happy matriarch and patriarch. Veslovsky is so much of a dandy that he can’t even ride like a real country man; this is also similar to his entirely wrong, gleaming hunting outfit.
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
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Farming and Rural Life Theme Icon