Saturday, October 20, 2012

Anna Karenina: Part Six Summary

Part Six Summary

A Day in the Country

Poor Levin! His home is crowded with Kitty’s family and friends who come to stay with them in the country, but he has none to call his own; even his brother Sergey is only a half brother. 

In the evening, Party Animal Stephan arrives with his carefree cousin, Vassenka, who flirts imprudently with Kitty, and Levin is infuriated.  He finally confesses to Kitty what is bothering him, causing Kitty’s heart to “rejoice at the depth of his love for her…” and Levin to think how appalling that an outsider could shatter their happiness.

A Man Must Be Manly

The next day Levin, Stephan, and Vassenka go hunting for several days.  While male bonding, Levin first finds Vassenka a nice fellow, but that changes when Vassenka’s recklessness causes Levin to have a terrible hunting experience.

On the second day, Levin goes hunting alone and has a most successful day, which makes up for his bitterness towards Vassenka again, and he is glad for it.  However, it is obvious the differences between Levin and these two noblemen that Levin finds offensive: both live self-centered, self-serving, and irresponsible lives.

After they return from hunting to the country house, Vassenka continues his inappropriate friendliness with Kitty.  Kitty tries to speak to Levin about it, to no avail; Levin asks Vassenka to leave his house.

Dolly Visits Anna

Dolly keeps her word and visits Anna.  She compares her situation to Anna’s: Dolly tolerates her own husband, Stephan, because she needs him, whereas Anna has freedom and is loved by someone.

In private, Vronsky pleads with Dolly to persuade Anna about divorcing her husband because it concerns him that his child is not legally his.  Before she leaves, she discusses the matter with Anna, whom Dolly notices is avoiding the truth and seems paralyzed to do anything.  She says she loves her son and Vronsky equally, but she cannot have both at the same time.

The Election

Levin moves Kitty to Moscow for access to better doctors, and then he heads to Kashin for the upcoming elections for several days.  Vronsky also attends the elections, and as Anna felt, to declare his independence from her.  After all, they are not married.

Levin is totally annoyed by the election process, and he really wishes to escape the uncomfortable situation.  Vronsky decides that he likes politics.  He believes he has a talent for it, although Levin claims it serves no purpose. 

The Glance of Indifference

After five days, Vronsky receives a message from Anna to return home because the baby is ill, but Vronsky knows she is only upset because he has not returned home when he said he would.  He goes home immediately.

It is obvious that Anna is insecure about Vronsky’s love for her.  He gives her his “glance of indifference.”  She has been taking morphine to numb her fear that he will leave her; and in her insecurity, she decides it is urgent that she ask Alexey for a divorce.

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