Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina


Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina: Part 8, Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

They all make it home just in time: the rain starts as soon as they step on the porch. Levin asks Agafya where Kitty and Mitya are; Agafya says that they’re still in the woods. As Levin runs to the forest, he thinks he sees them behind an oak tree just as lightning strikes the oak and it falls. He prays over and over that Kitty and the baby were not hit. He goes to Kitty’s normal spot, but she is not there. But then, he sees Kitty and the nanny calling to him from the other end of the wood: the nanny, Kitty, and Mitya are all fine.
The natural world brings a convenient end to the political argument: nothing theoretical is so important as rain, and the storm will not be held off for the sake of philosophy. In the brief moment of crisis when Kitty and Mitya are missing, Levin finds himself instinctively praying to God again; this time, the prayer brings him comfort, not deep self-doubt.
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