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Part 5, Chapters 14-20 Notes from Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina Part 5, Chapters 14-20

Kitty and Levin are fighting a great deal, but their fights are not bad. Instead, they are productive and aid in the building process of their life together. Just when the fighting begins to die down, they receive word from Moscow that Nicholas is dying. Much to Levin's surprise, Kitty demands that she go with him to see his brother. Once they arrive, Levin becomes extremely upset. He is sad about his brother, but also about the poor quarters and the presence of Masha, his brother's girlfriend. Levin stagnates, while Kitty expertly aids Nicholas.

"Levin could not look calmly at his brother; he could not himself be natural and calm in his presence. When he went in to the sick man, his eyes and his attention were unconsciously dimmed, and he did not see and did not distinguish the details of his brother's condition. He smelled the awful odor, saw the dirt, disorder, and miserable condition, and heard the groans, and felt that nothing could be done to help. It never entered his head to analyze the details of the sick man's situation...But Kitty thought, and felt, and acted quite differently. On seeing the sick man, she pitied him. And pity in her womanly heart did not arouse at all that feeling of horror and loathing that it aroused in her husband, but a desire to act, to find out the details of his condition, and to remedy them." Part 5, Chapter 18, pg. 518

She has Nicholas moved to a better room, one with fresh sheets, and she cleanses him. Kitty even gets along well with Masha. We see here the contrast between Levin and Kitty. Just as before, Levin tries to intellectualize the situation, while Kitty only knows how to "emotionalize" it. Her intuition tells her what to do. Levin realizes here that he needs to learn how to be more like Kitty. Their love will keep him faithful.

Nicholas dies in Chapter 20, the only chapter in the novel to bear a title: "Death." Just afterwards, though, Kitty learns she is pregnant, uniting the themes of birth and death.

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