by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina Love Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Constance Garnett's translation in the "Quotes" section, but referred to Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation in other parts of the guide.
No, no, reconciliation is impossible. Even if we remain in the same house, we are strangers – strangers forever!" She repeated again with special significance the word so dreadful to her. "And how I loved him! my God, how I loved him!.... How I loved him! And now don't I love him? Don't I love him more than before? The most horrible thing is," she began, but did not finish her thought, because Matrona Philimonovna put her head in at the door. (1.4.41)
In her confusion of trying to evaluate whether or not she still loves her unfaithful husband, Dolly shows that love is a contradictory emotion. Here, Dolly also serves as a foil for Karenin – when he finds out that Anna has been cheating on him, he will also have to decide how he feels about his wife.
One would have thought that nothing could be simpler than for him, a man of good family, rather rich than poor, and thirty-two years old, to make the young Princess Shtcherbatskaya an offer of marriage; in all likelihood he would at once have been looked upon as a good match. But Levin was in love, and so it seemed to him that Kitty was so perfect in every respect that she was a creature far above everything earthly; and that he was a creature so low and so earthly that it could not even be conceived that other people and she herself could regard him as worthy of her. (1.6.4)
Levin's love puts Kitty on an impossibly high pedestal and also leads him to think irrationally.
[Kitty] expected [Vronsky] to ask her for a waltz, but he did not, and she glanced wonderingly at him. He flushed slightly, and hurriedly asked her to waltz, but he had only just put his arm round her waist and taken the first step when the music suddenly stopped. Kitty looked into his face, which was so close to her own, and long afterwards – for several years after – that look, full of love, to which he made no response, cut her to the heart with an agony of shame. (1.22.24)
It is not only Vronsky's lack of response that breaks Kitty's heart at the ball, but her sense of embarrassment at her own misjudgment. She let herself fall in love with a man who, ultimately, wasn't equally interested in her.