Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 6, Chapter 17

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Part 6, Chapter 17

  • They stop to ask a peasant for directions to the count's estate, but four horses suddenly appear. It's Anna, Vronsky, Veslovsky, and Princess Barbara.
  • Anna appears dignified, calm, and elegant. Although Dolly thinks that the sight of a mature woman on horseback is a little unusual, she still thinks that Anna manages to pull it off.
  • Anna is overjoyed to see Dolly.
  • Dolly greets Vronsky and Veslovsky as well, but is noticeably displeased by the presence of Princess Barbara (or Varvara, in some later translations), who spends her life freeloading off of her rich relatives.
  • Vronsky's riding party has a really elegant charabanc (a kind of carriage) to take them home, and Dolly feels awkward with her dirty carriage and unmatched horses. (In this society, if you had four horses drawing your carriage, you wanted them all to look alike. Wealthy people should have matching horses.)
  • Dolly and Anna ride in Dolly's carriage. Dolly is struck by Anna's beauty—the beauty of a woman in love.
  • Some peasants are observing the scene, and they mistake Veslovsky for a woman because he's riding sidesaddle even though he's wearing pants.

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