Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapter 21

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Part 7, Chapter 21

  • Oblonsky arrives at Countess Lydia's a little late. Karenin and Landau are already there.
  • Oblonsky plans to ask Countess Lydia also to drop hints to the appropriate people about his suitability for the committee post.
  • They converse about religion. Landau is not included in the conversation, because he's nodding off in a corner (the book has also informed us that his cognitive ability may be somewhat impaired).
  • Oblonsky's starting to get nervous with all of this talk about salvation, because he considers himself a free thinker (and thus, not a religious man). But he doesn't want to offend Lydia because, with one word to Pomorsky, she could get him that cabinet post he wants. So he compromises by saying that sometimes, people may not be able to achieve this pure belief Lydia's advocating.
  • Lydia brushes this off, saying that pure believers cannot be guilty of sin, because their sins have already been redeemed.
  • Lydia gets up to read a text (in English): Safe and Happy, or Under the Wing, a piece of pious mysticism. According to Lydia, it proves that anyone who believes wholly in God can never be unhappy, because she is never truly alone.

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