Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 1, Chapter 21

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 1, Chapter 21

  • Dolly and Oblonsky have reconciled. Everyone has tea and seems happy. Then something weird happens.
  • Anna goes upstairs to get a photo album to show everyone. As she leaves the front door bell rings.
  • A servant opens the door just as Anna is crossing the landing, and there's Vronsky. She and Vronsky look at each other, and Anna feels both pleasure and fear.
  • Vronsky also appears ashamed and frightened to catch a glimpse of her. Anna nods her head and moves on as she hears Oblonsky inviting Vronsky in and Vronsky politely declining.
  • Vronsky gives a fairly ridiculous reason for being there (that he wanted to find out about a dinner they were holding for a visiting celebrity the next day) and refuses to go inside, even though Oblonsky tries to convince him.
  • Kitty thinks it's because of her.
  • Everyone feels kind of uncomfortable about the whole episode, especially Anna.

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