HomeLiterature Study GuidesAnna KareninaPart 7 Chapters 6 10 Summary

Anna Karenina | Study Guide

Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina | Part 7, Chapters 6–10 | Summary

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Summary

In Chapter 6, Levin reluctantly leaves Natalie to visit the Bohls. He stays only long enough to fulfill the requirements of politeness and then returns to his sister-in-law and takes her home. Levin then goes to the men's club in Chapter 7 and eats dinner with Stiva. When he calls Vronsky over, Levin has a pleasant conversation with him; he feels less strain with his former rival because Kitty has met Vronsky with equanimity. Levin then meets his father-in-law in Chapter 8, who takes him for a stroll around the club.

After he leaves the prince, he finds Stiva in conversation with Vronsky. Stiva calls Levin his best friend and says he wants him to meet Anna, to which he agrees. In the carriage in Chapter 9, Stiva talks about how much his sister is alone. Levin says she must be preoccupied with her child, but Stiva responds that she is not merely a "broody hen"; rather, she is writing a children's book that a publisher has deemed "a remarkable thing" and has been helping an English family down on its luck. When the men get to Anna's in Chapter 10, she is extremely happy to see them. Levin is quite taken with Anna, who seems not only beautiful, but also intelligent, graceful, and truthful. Whereas before he "judged her so severely," he now feels pity for her and wonders if Vronsky can fully understand her.

Analysis

In the previous chapters, Kitty reconciled with Vronsky, and now it is Levin's turn. After Kitty tells him about her meeting with him, he feels more at ease and able to also forgive Vronsky his sins against Kitty as well as the sin of being his former rival.

On the way to Anna's, Levin is surprised to learn she minds spending so much time alone, because she has a small child. Levin cannot imagine a woman who does not devote herself entirely to her child or children, and Stiva indignantly informs him that there's more to her than being a mother hen. He is proud of his sister's intelligence, beauty, and talent. When Levin meets her, he has to agree that she is remarkable, and indeed, as the novel progresses, the reader feels the same way. Anna seems to have used her exile to become a cultured and accomplished woman. Anna also employs all of her skills to win Levin over, and he is thoroughly charmed. Clearly, he does not scorn Anna as he does other "fallen women," and he feels "a tenderness and pity for her that surprised him."

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