Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 1, Chapter 9

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 1, Chapter 9

  • Levin finds Kitty skating, and is immediately in awe of everyone at the pond who gets to be in the presence of a goddess.
  • Nicholas Shcherbatsky, Kitty's cousin (not to be confused with Nicholas, Levin's older brother), says hello to Levin, hailing him as a champion skater and telling him to get some skates.
  • Kitty comes over on unsteady skates, and asks Levin a few simple questions. Levin is totally flustered.
  • Kitty compliments him by noting that everyone still talks about him as a champion skater.
  • She suggests that the two of them skate together.
  • Levin goes to rent some skates.
  • Levin and Kitty go skating, and Kitty says that she could learn to be a better skater with Levin, because for some reason she trusts him.
  • Levin replies that he trusts himself when she is with him.
  • But this comment is a little too much for Kitty. She signals "back off" by wrinkling her forehead.
  • Levin asks if she's okay. Kitty says she's fine and asks if Levin has seen Mademoiselle Linon yet.
  • Levin says no, and Kitty tells him to go over and say hello.
  • Levin worries that he's getting annoyed at Kitty, but he goes over and says hello to Mlle. Linon, who is a Frenchwoman and has apparently known Levin and the Shcherbatsky girls for quite some time.
  • Kitty and Levin chat some more, but it's clear that Kitty is being deliberately sweet and friendly—as opposed to being sweet and friendly without thinking about it.
  • She asks if winters are boring in the country. Levin, who continues to be irritated by Kitty's change in attitude, says that it would depend on her.
  • Levin vents his frustration with Kitty by doing athletic skating moves.
  • Kitty feels Levin is wonderful in a brotherly sort of way, and she also feels guilty that she may be flirting with him. But she's having such fun with him that she's probably not going to stop.
  • Kitty meets up with her mother, and Levin joins them both.
  • Kitty's mother informs Levin in a very chilly way that they are at home on Thursdays (read: that's the time when people are supposed to visit the Shcherbatskys).
  • Kitty wants to make up for her mother's chilliness, so she smiles at Levin and says, "Au revoir!" (as in, she'll see him again).
  • Oblonsky comes to take Levin to dinner; he decides on the restaurant Angleterre because he owes more money there and thinks it's wrong to avoid one's debts.
  • Levin is so excited about Kitty's "au revoir" that his mind isn't on anything else.

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