100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.
Anna Karenina SummaryAnna Karenina opens with one of the most crazy-famous sentences of all time:"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"We're at the Oblonsky household in Moscow. Dolly has caught her husband, Stiva (a.k.a. Stephen; Stiva's his nickname) cheating, and now she's threatening to leave him. Stiva Oblonsky's sister, Anna Karenina, wife of Alexis (or Alexei) Karenin, is taking a train from Petersburg to act as a marriage counselor.Anna arrives at the train station with an elderly woman named Countess Vronsky, whose son, Alexis (or Alexei) Vronsky is immediately smitten with Anna. (It is confusing that both Karenin, Anna's husband, and Vronsky are named Alexis. This is where Russian patronymics come in handy: Vronsky is Alexis Kirillovich and Karenin is Alexis Alexandrovich.) Before the group leaves the station, a drunken guard is crushed to death underneath the train. In an effort to impress Anna, Vronsky gives money to the man's widow.There are a few obstacles to Vronsky and Anna's courtship. First of all, as we have already said,Anna is a married woman. What's more, she has an eight-year-old son, Seryozha (a.k.a. Sergei;Seryozha is his nickname). And to make matters even worse, Vronsky is already courting Dolly Oblonsky's sister, Kitty.Anna succeeds in reconciling the Oblonskys, and Kitty and Anna become friends. Constantine Levin, who is good friends with Stiva Oblonsky, comes to Moscow to propose to Kitty. But Kitty rejects him because she's in love with Vronsky. So Levin runs back to the country, where he feels most at home.After Kitty has refused Levin in favor of Vronsky, she goes to a ball (along with everyone in Moscow) where her heart is broken by Vronsky. Much to everyone's surprise, Vronsky neglects Kitty in favor of Anna. Having saved her brother's marriage, Anna leaves for Petersburg the nextday. When Anna takes a break during the train ride, she bumps into Vronsky. He's following her from Moscow to Petersburg.Once Vronsky turns his romantic attention to Anna, Kitty falls ill. Her treatment is to go abroad and visit a German spa with her mother. Meanwhile, in Petersburg, Vronsky continues to pursueAnna. Resisting the temptation of an affair, Anna begs Vronsky to reconcile with Kitty, but Vronsky replies that he is in love with Anna.The same night, Karenin (Anna's husband) finally suspects that something's up and tries to talk to Anna about the nature of her relationship with Vronsky. She dodges all his questions. After this night, Anna and Karenin's marriage has irrevocably altered. Anna sees Vronsky everywhere, and the two of them begin an affair. Anna is filled with guilt.Meanwhile, back in the country, Levin is still languishing over Kitty. Oblonsky (brother to Anna and brother-in-law of Kitty) goes to visit Levin. And in Petersburg, everyone who knows of it has turned against the affair between Anna and Vronsky. Vronsky's mother condemns the affair because she thinks her son's infatuation with Anna is interfering with his military career.