Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 5, Chapter 14

By Leo Tolstoy

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Part 5, Chapter 14

  • After three months of marriage, Levin realizes that the ideal of marriage is different from its actuality.
  • Prior to his marriage, Levin had always looked at other couples' quarrels contemptuously, believing that family life should be nothing but love-making and happiness.
  • Levin is amazed at all the work that Kitty throws into the business of running a household—redecorating rooms, hiring domestic staff, arranging furniture, and so on.
  • Kitty butts heads with Miss Agatha over household management.
  • Kitty is getting used to being mistress of her own household, and being able to order exactly the things she wants for the home.
  • Levin is amazed at their petty quarrels. Their first quarrel occurred when Levin was a half-hour late. Kitty accused him of loving only himself and not her.
  • In quarreling, Levin realizes that to hurt Kitty is to hurt himself.
  • They argue frequently; this first period of their marriage is the most painful.

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