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Anna Karenina
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May 2013- Anna Karenina > Part 3, Chapter 1-32

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Karena (karenafagan) Please keep your discussion to these chapters. Spoilers are allowed within these chapters so readers beware!


Jessica | 464 comments I found myself liking Levin but having frustration with him too. He is so easy for me to connect with. His connection to nature and the countryside is beautiful. This passion aligns with what he feels for Kitty, but he goes through one of those denial phases. Everything about the countryside becomes frustrating, the peasants cheat him, and Dolly comes to live nearby. The conversation he has with her in regards to Kitty was good, in that I felt he would finally learn the truth, but instead his fear of heartache and loss of love prevented him from taking the information in an effort to benefit the relationship he could have with her. He then goes into this weird acceptance of death. He feels, as if, his death is close at hand. This attitude towards death happens after he spends time with his sick brother. What is it he is ill with? Is it TB?

On a happier note, I enjoyed Levin's dinner with the peasant's daughter. The mention of how low cut the bosom of the dress was, in conjunction with Levin's reactions was hysterical. His gentelmanly attitude, or him trying to keep one, in that situation deserves an applause.

Vronksy and Anna's relationship hits a rough patch. Alexey has decided, due to religious reasons, that he and Anna will continue to live in Petersburgh and Vronsky must never visit. Divorce is not an option for him due to the difficult public spot it would put him in. When Anna meets Vronsky to tell him this news, there is a moment where he questions his love for her. He feels, as though it is dwindling. While sparknotes has a much different reason for this, I can't help but feel it is no longer a fun affair for Vronsky, but it has now become an act with serious repercussions, which he does not want responsibility for. Anna is no longer a pretty object to lust after, but a person with opinions and a love for her son he still cannot understand.


Anil (loykalina) | 79 comments I enjoyed changes Levin endures throughout this part. I think it is pretty normal to think over his own death especially when one realises a relative of their own is about to die. That grand topic occupies one's mind several days after such a close witnessing no matter how hard one tries to avoid to think over it. What I love more about Constantine Levin is that he becomes more political. He both influences his brother and is influenced by him. What I disagree with him is that his belief of death being the end of everything. It is end of everything for any people who die, but it is also a beginning for the others left behind.

Karenin is proven that he cannot even stand showing off emotions when his men warn people not to cry while making a request to him. I think it would be nothing but a bore to marry him.

I think it is spot on observation, Jessica, that Vronsky is not interested in a serious "business". If my memory serves me well, the narrator tells us how single men are treated differently with whom they are after/infatuated in the Petersburg society. It is considered a noble act to go after a married woman than a single woman since it is a forbidden act in a religious sense, and there is a possibility that a man's feelings might not be addressed for any reason. I think that is an important reason for Vronsky to go after Anna. He does not even believe in marriage. As a result, it is impossible to take his offer/request to Anna to leave her husband and son, and go away with him.

I wonder what will happen to Anna in the fourth part since her husband does not want to divorce so as not to ruin his reputation and make Anna happy. Her lover seems to be reluctant to provide what she hopes him to do. Also, her pregnancy will be more visible. I want to read Karenin's reaction once he learns that Anna is pregnant.

Dolly is still a personification of the idea of mother. Is it me or we aren't allowed to penetrate her deeper feelings? I feel we, the readers, are just shown the tip of iceberg.

All in all, it is another great part. It is time to start reading part 4.:-)


Jessica | 464 comments Anil wrote: "I enjoyed changes Levin endures throughout this part. I think it is pretty normal to think over his own death especially when one realises a relative of their own is about to die. That grand topic ..."

This is kind of spoiler-ish. I don't give anything major away though. Just hiding it in the event it upsets someone. :)

(view spoiler)


Anindyta (fingerprintale) | 8 comments i thought when Levin saw Kitty in the field, he would want to visit her immediately but i guess he had too much pride in him. I felt pity for Dolly though and she was starting to realize that all she's got was her children and family.

And about vronsky... I'm starting to worry about him. I hope he's not going to leave anna.


James | 10 comments I felt a bit sorry for Anna in this part, starting to look like she is trapped. I don't know how this book ends but I don't think it bodes well for her. Still rooting for Levin, chapters 4&5 were great. How can reading about someone cutting grass be so good? Levin and Stepan are consumed by work, everything else seems a distraction, although they have a different attitude towards their families. Levin seems to care about people he just can't articulate it.


Christine Levin- he is really trying! I loved how he spent a day in the fields. The description of the day was wonderful and I love how clear he was after a day of labor. However, I do feel that overall, even though Levin finds peace in "country" living I do not feel like he will be completely content until he is content with himself. I think his restlessness will continue to creep up no matter where he is (or who he is with).
Vronsky continues to be self absorbed and I do not think he has any realization of the ripples that his actions with Anna are causing. Anna, on the other hand still sees her relationship with Vronsky as the panacea to her trubles. She continues to project her "ideal" onto Vronsky but he is who he is. There were moments when she saw through this perfect image. I think the reality of the situation will become more obvious and she will see Vronsky for what he is. The questions is how will she handle it?


Mary | 6 comments I like the foreshadowing of the historical changes coming in Russian society with the comment,"we are all peasants together. We can manage by ourselves" from the old peasant. The reason Levin is struggling is he is NOT a peasant and the peasants know it. Very interesting discussion between he and his older brother about this aspect of culture.

And I had to stop and write out Vronksy's principles in my reading journal. Good grief. Pay a cardsharp, not a tailor? These absolutely reveal his character. Cheat on a husband but don't let anyone comment on it?

Tolstoy's characters are incredible. He really just reveals layers of consciousness. No one has any secrets with this writer.


Lisa (dagny115) | 10 comments I got the feeling in this section that Anna knows Vronsky better than he knows himself. It seems like Anna wishes he were a different person and could take care of her and her son, but she recognizes that he's an eternal bachelor and isn't ready for a family. Vronsky, meanwhile, was actually toying with the idea, which I thought says a lot about the way he feels for Anna. But I keep thinking of the mare metaphor so I have a pretty bad feeling about all this no matter what happens.

I'm enjoying these sections on Levin, but I feel like the book is becoming disjointed; moving in two extremely separate directions. I'm anxious for the two main story lines to come back together.


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