Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 11

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 11

  • Just when you thought the tension couldn't go on any longer, Anna and Vronsky finally do the deed. There is no description of the event; we just jump right from those two lines of dots (representing a break of time and narrative) to the feelings of Vronsky and Anna after they've had sex.
  • Anna can't stop sobbing and her body is limp with shame. Vronsky is compared to a murderer and Anna to a murdered body. Anna now sees herself as a criminal, and Vronsky as the accomplice who has brought her to this guilt.
  • She tells Vronsky that she has nothing left now but him. She has been ushered into a new life, which fills her with horror, shame, and joy all at the same time.
  • She tells herself that she'll reflect on her physical relationship with Vronsky when she's calmer. That calm moment never comes, however, because Anna remains completely shocked by what she's done.
  • She has a recurring dream where she's married to both Alexis Karenin and Alexis Vronsky. In the dream, this seems like a totally normal situation, but then she wakes everything seems strange. It's really a nightmare more than a dream.

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