Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 1, Chapter 18

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Part 1, Chapter 18

  • Vronsky follows the conductor into the car, looking for his mother.
  • On his way in, a woman walks past him. She merits a second glance because of the expression on her face. She's tender, sweet, beautiful, and radiates life.
  • Vronsky finds his mother, the Countess Vronsky, and while he talks to her, he eavesdrops on the woman who just passed him.
  • He realizes that it's Anna, Oblonsky's sister and Karenin's wife.
  • Vronsky helps her find Oblonsky.
  • After Anna finds her brother, she comes back to say good-bye to the Countess. The two of them had been chatting about their sons during the entire train ride from Petersburg. Anna has an eight-year old son, Seryozha, whom she's never left behind before.
  • The Countess tells Anna that she has fallen in love with her.
  • Vronsky makes small talk with his mother, and they prepare to leave the station.
  • Their departure is interrupted by a commotion. A guard was drunk and didn't hear the train; he was run over by the car.
  • Vronsky and Oblonsky see the body and tell the women that the guard's wife has flung herself on his body. Apparently, the guard was the family's sole provider.
  • Anna asks if something can be done for the family.
  • Vronsky disappears.
  • We find out that he has given two hundred rubles to the widow.
  • The Vronskys leave.
  • As Anna and her brother leave, they hear people gossip about the death. Anna is visibly disturbed.
  • Anna asks her brother about Vronsky, but doesn't pursue the matter. Instead, she asks about his problems at home.
  • Oblonsky takes her to his house, and then goes off to the office.

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