Study Guide

Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapter 31

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Part 7, Chapter 31

  • The coachman hands Anna her ticket. She boards the train.
  • Anna looks at all the people and finds them all disgusting. She transfers to a different seat so she doesn't have to see them, but outside the window she instead sees a grimy peasant bent over the wheels, who looks vaguely familiar. It's the muzhik from her dreams. She recalls him with horror.
  • Anna continues to despise everyone around her.
  • Anna keeps trying to imagine a happy life, but she can't break free of the idea that life is essentially torture. Even the little girl she sees on the platform seems ugly and insincere.
  • Anna continues feeling as if all the people around her are deliberately torturing her with their presence.
  • On the platform, Michael, her first messenger, finds her and hands her a note from Vronsky. It expresses regret that her note didn't catch him in time, and tells her that he'll be back at ten o'clock. Anna sees that it was written in a careless hand.
  • She dismisses Michael, and walks along the platform confused and lonely. Suddenly, she recalls the guard who died on the day she met Vronsky, and realizes what she has to do.
  • She descends from the platform and approaches an incoming train.
  • Anna watches the wheels carefully, ready to time her jump. Her red handbag gets in the way.
  • On the second pass of the train's wheels, Anna's timing is better. She flings away her handbag and sinks to her knees under the onrushing train.

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