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Anna Karenina Notes

Note: started these notes on part 3


  • "For him words took away the beauty of what he saw" (241)
  • For Sergei Ivanovich, country is a place to relax and think of nothing. It's almost the opposite to Levin (it's his livelihood)
  • Levin is indifferent to the common good


  • To mow or not?
  • Lots of descriptions about mowing and swaths
  • Levin just wants to keep up
  • Breakfast break


  • Back to mowing!
  • Mows until dinner
  • Eats dinner with the muzhiks
  • Mows Mashka's Knoll with them


  • Levin goes back home
  • Eats dinner with brother
  • Arbeitskur - work cure
  • "master's" activities - muzhiks don't approve of Levin mowing


  • Stepan Arkadyich, goes to Petersburg and lives in summer houses
  • Dolly moves with children to her dowry estate, Yergushovo (35mi away from Levin's Pokrovskoe)
  • Stepan did a bad job repairing the place, so it's kind of a pain to live there


  • Dolly takes kids to communion
  • Cake incident w/Grisha and Tanya
  • Bathing house
  • Dolly gets a kick out of talking to fellow mothers


  • Levin visits Dolly, offers to help around the house
  • The kids like him cause he's not a phony
  • Dolly brings up Kitty and Levin changes the subject to cows
  • Dolly doesn't trust his advice on cows (he's a farmer though...)


  • Dolly brings up Kitty again. "Why are you angry with her?"
  • Levin tells her about his rejected proposal, which she didn't know about
  • "'For you men, who are free and can choose, it's always clear whom you love. But a young girl in a state of expectation, with that feminine, maidenly modesty, a girl who sees you men from afar, who takes everything on trust - a girl may and does sometimes feel that she doesn't know who she loves or what to say'" (270).
  • Dolly tells Levin that Kitty's rejection means nothing
  • Levin disagrees
  • When Dolly's children fight (Tanya and Grisha, the cake ones) it ruins her good mood
  • Levin comforts her, but imagines his kids will be perfect


  • Some shady stuff going on with the distribution of Levin's sister's estate's hay, so Levin goes and sorts stuff out
  • Some stuff about a young married man and his wife loading hay


  • Levin is still watching the hay people
  • "Levin had often admired this life, had often experienced a feeling of envy for the people who lived this life, but that day for the first time, especially under the impression of what he had seen in the relations of Ivan Parmenov and his young wife, the thought came clearly to Levin that it was up to him to change that so burdensome, idle, artificial and individual life he lived into this laborious, pure and common, lovely life" (275).
  • "One thing is sure, that this night has decided my fate" (276).
  • Levin comes to this big revelation that he wants to renounce his old life and take up the "farm" life. But he doesn't really know how to make the transition.
  • He changes his mind when he sees Kitty on her way to Yergushovo.


  • Alexei Alexandrovich has one weakness: he can't hear/see the tears of a child or a woman with indifference. He gets angry and loses reason.
  • This is why he adopts a look of deadness when Anaa tells him about Vronsky and cries
  • Alexei compares finding out about Vronsky to the pulling of a long-aching tooth
  • Feelings for his son also change
  • Alexei thinks now of what to do. He wants to hinder the relationship of Anna and Vronsky. Wants redemption/vengeance.
    • Duel? Nah
    • Divorce? Nah
    • "...became convinced hat there was only one solution: to keep her with him, concealing what had happened from society, and taking all possible measures to stop their affair and above all - something he did not admit to himself - to punish her" (282).
      • It aligns with religion... that's convenient
      • External reason: reform his wife! Second chance!
      • Actual reason: revenge


  • Writes letter to Anna containing his decision
  • Some "filler" crap about Alexei's job
    • Irrigating the fields in the Zaraysk province
    • Settling of racial minorities


  • Anna reflects on her confession. She's glad everything is out in the open.
  • However, she doesn't tell Vronsky when she sees him shortly after.
  • However, she soon realizes she's very ashamed, and worries about her future
  • Anna decides to go to Moscow with Annushka (servant) and Seryozha (son)
  • Writes husband, tries writing to Vronsky but tears it up


  • In the midst of preparing to leave, Anna gets her husbands letter
  • She responds with "message received" and goes to a party, where she hopes to meet Vronsky and ask him what to do


  • Anna arrives at the croquet party
  • Lying now gives Anna pleasure
  • Anna sneaks meeting info into Betsy's letter to Vronsky
  • Some conversation about Liza Merkalov and Kaluzhsky... I think they're having an affair?
  • "Perhaps you're inclined to look at things too tragically" (298).


  • Sappho Stolz arrives with two admirers (Vaska, unknown)
  • Liza Merkalov arrives with two admirers (Prince Kaluzhsky, Stremov)
  • Both are beautiful with nice eyes
  • Liza, Stremov, and Anna engage in conversation
  • This conversation is cut short, as Anna must go to Vrede to meet Vronsky


  • "Every man, knowing to the smallest detail all the complexity of the conditions surrounding him, involuntarily assumes that the complexity of these conditions and the difficulty of comprehending them are only his personal, accidental preculiarity, and never thinks that others are surrounded by the same complexity as he is" (302).
  • Vronsky sorts out his debts and thinks about his financial situation


  • Vronsky's code of rules unquestionably define his life... but Anna is making things more complicated
  • Reminder: Anna is pregnant
  • "Ambition was the old dream of his childhood and youth, a dream which he did not confess even to himself, but which was so strong that even now this passion struggled with his love" (306)
  • Slightly torn between pursuing career and Anna
  • Settles (I think) for keeping his position and Anna... so not fully devoting himself to either
  • Possessing Anna prevents him from envy


  • There's a celebration for Serpukhovskoy's arrival (old classmate, got a bunch of promotions in Central Asia)
  • Some ceremonial crap happens
  • Vronsky and Serpukhovskoy sit down and talk careers and women
  • Serpukhovskoy belives Vronsky wants, or will want, a more prestigious career
  • They skirt around the topic of Anna
  • "'Women are the main stumbling block in a man's activity. It's hard to love a woman and do anything. For this there exists one means of loving conveniently, without hindrance - that is marriage" (312)
    • Compares marriage to carrying a burden on back instead of with hands


  • Vronsky meets Anna at Vrede's
  • He comes happy, but after seeing Anna's serious face, his mood changes
  • Anna shows Vronsky the letter and is disappointed with his reaction
  • Vronsky assumes there's going to be a duel. Says he'll think it over and come to a decision