Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 35

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 35

  • Everyone eats breakfast, and the Prince infects everyone with his good humor and jokes.
  • Kitty doesn't feel happy though, because of the cynical view her father has taken of her new friends and new life, and because of the trouble with the Petrovs.
  • Varenka gets up to leave. When she goes into the house to get her hat, Kitty follows her.
  • It turns out Varenka is going to help the Petrovs pack for their departure. Kitty wants to help too.
  • Varenka says Kitty should stay at home and spend time with her papa.
  • Kitty presses the issue, but it's a bad idea to continue talking about the situation. It's clear that Kitty's presence has caused a rift in the Petrov household.
  • Kitty has a fit. She says that it serves herself right because her interactions with Petrov didn't come from the heart, that she was just playing the role of a generous person.
  • Varenka asks what the purpose of such a pretence might be.
  • Kitty exclaims that she just wanted to seem like a better person to everyone around her, but now she's realized that it's better to be bad than to be a liar.
  • Varenka seems to feel that Kitty is also reproaching her as a deceiver, but Kitty exclaims that no, Varenka is honest and perfect, but that she, Kitty, is not. It would be better to leave Anna Pavlovna to do her own thing.
  • Kitty continues to freak out, saying that she can only live by her heart, honestly, that she loves Varenka wholeheartedly while Varenka probably only loves Kitty with a mind to teach her better ways.
  • Varenka protests that she's being unfair, and Kitty pseudo-apologizes by saying that she's not talking about anyone but Kitty herself. Kitty is called away mid-argument by her mother, but she rushes back in a fit of remorse and asks for Varenka's forgiveness.
  • The two women make up, but Kitty is forever changed. Having seen her new world through the eyes of her worldly father, she realizes that she has been deceiving herself about who she is. Her efforts to force herself to love everyone oppress her, and she now yearns to return to her home and get back to herself.
  • Before she leaves, Kitty tries to get Varenka to join them in Moscow.
  • Instead, Varenka promises to visit Kitty after Kitty is married. Kitty says she'll never marry, and Varenka says, in that case, she'll never come. Kitty offers to marry just to bring Varenka to visit.
  • Kitty returns to Russia cured. She may not be as carefree as before, but at peace with her memories of her previous visit to Moscow.

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