Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 18

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 18

  • Vronsky's outer life has not changed one bit since his affair with Anna.
  • He still hangs out with his military friends, (a.k.a. his regiment). They all love him, and he loves them back.
  • He doesn't mention his love to any of them, but the entire Petersburg society knows that an affair is taking place between Vronsky and Anna. Karenin's important standing puts a massive spotlight on their affair.
  • Everyone gets ready for the relationship to go public—all the women who don't like Anna are preparing the nasty things they'll send through the gossip mill.
  • Vronsky's mother approved of the affair at first, when she thought that Vronsky was having an elegant affair with a prominent society woman.
  • Vronsky's mother is not so pleased, however, when she realizes that it's a passionate, desperate affair that results in Vronsky turning down promotions in order to remain near Anna.
  • Vronsky's second passion is for horses, which gives him some time away from his primary passion (i.e., Anna).
  • His regiment has planned a race for the officers. It's a steeplechase (an obstacle course for horses over three miles of open ground) for which Vronsky had registered and bought a special English thoroughbred mare. In spite of his distracting love for Anna, Vronsky is pretty excited about this event.

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