Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Anna boards the train. All the other passengers appear hideous to her. Outside the train, bending by the wheels, she sees a dirty peasant––who looks like the one from her recurring nightmare––working by the carriage wheels. Even the most innocuous conversations around her seem hideous and horrible. When she arrives at the platform, Vronsky’s servant has a note for her from Vronsky, saying that he hadn’t received Anna’s first note and that he would be home by ten.
Anna is so despondent that everyone else appears hideous and ugly; even a couple carrying on an innocuous conversation seem to be plunged into despair, through Anna’s tormented eyes. Vronsky’s note is the final straw for Anna: she declares that she will not let herself torment herself anymore. She has gone utterly mad with jealousy, and she realizes the depth of her insanity.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon
Anna walks along the platform. She remembers the man who was run over by the train on the day that she met Vronsky, and she knows what she must do. She gets ready to jump under the first carriage, but her red bag gets in the way. She watches the wheels of the second carriage, and at exactly the right moment, throws her bag aside and sinks to her knees in front of the train. The little peasant is working nearby. The train rushes over her.
Anna takes her recollection of the man who fell in front of the train tracks when she first met Vronsky as a sign telling her what she must do. Just as Vronsky did not succeed on his attempt at suicide (the gun misfired, wounding but not killing him), Anna’s handbag gets in the way; however, she is determined to carry her fate to what she perceives as its destined end. As though she is praying, Anna genuflects in front of the train; the last thing she sees is the little peasant, who looks just like the ominous creature from the recurring nightmare that she and Vronsky share. Anna and Vronsky’s affair has come full circle, with the doom implied by the death of the train worker now giving way to Anna’s own death.
Themes
Marriage and Family Life Theme Icon
Adultery and Jealousy Theme Icon
Society and Class Theme Icon