Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lines Crossed in Anna Karenina, Part Seven

It is taking longer to get through Part Seven than it should, but a lot has gone on this past week; nonetheless, I have a partial summary of Part Seven, and that is: lines are crossed!

In a nutshell:

1.  Kitty finally faces Vronsky, and "her breath fail[s] her, the blood rush[es] to her heart, and [she]...blush[es]...but in the end, she composes herself and overcomes the emotion.

2.  Levin is hanging out at a club with Stephan and Vronsky, of all people!
[Levin] was glad that all hostility was at an end with Vronsky, and the sense of peace, decorum, and comfort never left him.
3.  Stepan takes Levin to meet his sister, Anna.  There is just no purpose for this!  And all the while, Levin's conscience is questioning "whether he was doing right or wrong."  In the end, Levin feels sorry for Anna, like she is some caged animal unable to be freed.

4.  The insightful Kitty confronts Levin about his "feelings" for Anna's beauty.  You can just see it in his blushing.  And Levin must admit that staying in Moscow has degenerated him.

5. In Chapter XII of Part Seven, Tolstoy penetrates Anna's private thoughts about meeting Levin: and by the middle of the first paragraph, I recorded my private thoughts: "Anna is a wicked woman!"  That is all I am going to say.

6.  Chapter XII is followed by XIII, and Tolstoy begins by sharing Levin's rational, guilty thoughts about his irresponsible behavior:  going to the club, participating in
"aimless, irrational life, living beyond his means, after drinking to excess, forming inappropriate friendly relations with a man with whom his wife had once been in love, and a still more inappropriate call upon a woman...after being facinated by that woman and causing his wife distress."
And then he went to sleep...

7. ...only to be awakened the next day to find Kitty in labor.  She gives birth, and Levin has a wide range of emotions.

8.  Then, enter Stepan: he tries to talk to Alexey about giving Anna a divorce so she can get on with her life, but Alexey is reneging on his promises.  More about Stepan: he is egotistical and self-absorbed, if you did not know by now.  However, Tolstoy really gets into Stepan's philosophical ideas about how he sees life.

So I begin Chapter XXII today, God willing, and hopefully will wrap up the remaining Part Seven in a day or two.

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