Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 7

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 7

  • Someone is approaching the door, and Princess Betsy can tell that it's Anna. She looks over at Vronsky, who looks happy yet nervous.
  • Anna comes in and takes a seat.
  • The conversation turns to love.
  • The ambassador's wife says that the only happy marriages she knows are arranged marriages based on reason.
  • Vronsky argues with her, making the claim for passion.
  • Princess Betsy argues that you can only know love after correcting a mistake, and the rest of the company agrees that "it's never too late to repent"—even after marriage. Princess Betsy asks Anna for her opinion. Anna says she thinks that there are many kinds of love.
  • Vronsky visibly relaxes at this at this ambiguous statement.
  • Anna turns to him suddenly and says that she's just received word that Kitty Shcherbatsky is sick.
  • Vronsky asks for details. The two of them go off in a corner by themselves.
  • Anna reproaches Vronsky for his behavior towards Kitty, and tells him to go back to Moscow and ask Kitty to forgive him.
  • Vronsky says that she doesn't mean that.
  • She asks him to leave her alone.
  • He argues that he thinks of the two of them as one, meaning that he sees no peace for either of them, only happiness or unhappiness.
  • Anna tries to say the right thing, but can only look at him with eyes full of love.
  • They talk some more, and then Karenin, Anna's husband, joins the little party.
  • He talks to Princess Betsy, who draws him into conversation about universal military service.
  • Vronsky and Anna stay apart from everyone else in the room, which everyone except Karenin notices and feels uncomfortable about.
  • Trying to end this awkward situation, Princess Betsy gets Anna to join the general conversation.
  • Karenin suggests to Anna that the two of them go home together, but Anna says she's staying for dinner.
  • After dinner, Vronsky walks Anna out to her carriage.
  • He tells her that he wants her love, not her friendship.
  • Anna tells him that love means a lot to her.
  • Vronsky is happy, because he feels like he's made great advances in his pursuit of Anna.

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