Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 4, Chapter 10

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 4, Chapter 10

  • Pestsov, Karenin, and Koznyshev continue their earlier conversation about the Russification of Poland (i.e., Russia's occupation of Poland in the nineteenth century, discussed in Part 4, Chapter 9).
  • The three discuss how it is that some nations have the authority to annex, or occupy, others. What is it that gives some countries a leg up over others? Koznyshev says that it all comes down to education. This leads into a discussion over which is better, a classical education (i.e., in Latin, Greek, philosophy, and literature) or a natural scientific education (in astronomy, botany, and other sciences).
  • This conversation leads over into the education of women: should it just be a matter of women's liberation? Or should we believe that women can occupy parliamentary positions and join the bureaucracy the same way men can?
  • Koznyshev and Pestsov support the idea of women's total inclusion in government, while Oblonsky and Karenin both seem to have misgivings about changes in women's natural role in the family.
  • Dolly, who has just entered the conversation, comments that a woman entering politics would probably be forsaking her family. Pestsov doesn't see a problem with this, because he stands for the general ideal that a woman should be allowed to be involved in all the tasks men do.

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