Friday, November 4, 2011

Anna Karenina: Week 4 of 12

My Thoughts on pp.214-274
  1. Another round of depth was added to our main players.  In this section we get to see Levin contrasted with his brother Sergei: country mouse/city mouse.  On page 239 (see quote below) Levin reflects on an observation that his brother's convictions don't reach his heart.  On page 243, Sergei gets frustrated that Levin's convictions don't reach his mind:   "He hardly entered into what his brother was saying."  We also get to see Kitty mature some, although she still seems rather befuddled with herself (see first three quotes below).

  2. This section was slower/quieter for me.  I enjoyed reading of Kitty's time abroad (couldn't quite figure out Varenka--can anyone really be that good and likeable and level-headed?) and seeing more of Levin.  Some of the farming descriptions left me wishing for more about Vronsky and Anna instead, even though I love nature and the education on Russian society.  Maybe I'm like Levin, and think that nature is better if it isn't talked of so much. ;)   (see quote from page 241 below)

  3. I've realized that I think of the men being much older than they really are.  Looking back on my quotes I see that Stepan is 34...they all seem so much older! I'm going to have to work at reforming the picture in my mind's eye.

Quotes from pp.214-274
  • p. 224:  From Varenka she understood that you had only to forget yourself and love others and you would be calm, happy and beautiful.

  • p. 233: She could not solve the problem her father had unwittingly posed for her by his merry view of her friends and the life she had come to like so much.

  • p. 236: ...She understood that she had deceived herself in thinking that she could be what she wished to be.

  • p. 237: For Konstantin Levin the country was the place of life, that is, of joy, suffering, labour.

  • p. 239: But, in the depths of his soul, the older he became and the more closely he got to now his brother, the more often it occurred to him that this ability to act for the common good, of which he felt himself completely deprived, was perhaps not a virtue but, on the contrary, a lack of something--not a lack of good, honest and noble desires and tastes, but a lack of life force, of what is known as heart, of that yearning which makes a man choose one out of all the countless paths in life presented to him and desire that one alone.

  • p. 241: Konstantin Levin did not like talking or hearing about the beauty of nature.  For him words took away the beauty of what he saw.

  • p. 248: "I need physical movement, otherwise my character definitely deteriorates."

  • p. 260: Hard as Stepan Arkadyich tried to be a solicitous father and husband, he never could remember that he had a wife and children.

  • p. 260: She had lived in the country in childhood, and had been left with the impression that the country was salvation from all city troubles.


  1. Melody, I am anxious to get back to Anna, too, although I enjoyed the country section. I'm feeling Varenka is either too good to be true or that it may be as Kitty says that she lives by rules while Kitty lives by her heart or.... I really like the quotes you picked from this section of the reading.

    Susan E

  2. I haven't been able to figure out Varenka either. She seems so...fake. I liked the country section mostly because Levin is one of my favorite characters, but I am excited to get back to Anna. I kept wondering where our title character was.

  3. The first and third quotes are very telling, aren't they?


I'd love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment!