Anna Karenina Part 5, Chapters 21-30
Karenin's life has become a misdirected mess. He is confused as to how he can still have affectionate feelings for Anna and also for the daughter she had with Vronsky. He is trying to raise his son, but he endures constant ridicule from society. Nonetheless, a society lady named Lydia Ivanovna, comes to his house and tells him she will take care of him and his home. The first thing she does, though, is tell the boy Seriozha that his mother is dead. She does everything she can to hurt Anna and make Karenin fall in love with herself.
It seems everyone is trying to crush Anna. Betsy tells Vronsky that he shouldn't be seen with her while in Petersburg. Then, Betsy goes to Anna, under the veil of friendship, telling her that while she doesn't mind Anna and Vronsky's relationship others do.
News of the general disapproval of her relationship with Vronsky makes Anna extremely agitated. She sneaks into her old home to see her son, who is shocked since he has been told she is dead. Anna realizes she loves Seriozha overwhelmingly, with a love she could never feel for her daughter. Anna will come to resent her daughter for denying her Seriozha.
Even worse is Anna's decision not to obey Vronsky's request that the two keep a low profile. She tells him she is going to the opera. He is infuriated. She goes to the opera, and he goes as well, but he doesn't sit with her. He doesn't understand why she has to be so beautiful--after all, that's why he is in this position in the first place. As expected, the opera scenario causes a scandal. Other opera-goers refuse to sit in the same box as Anna, for she has sinned. Once the two arrive home they fight, then finally make peace.
"'Anna,' he said.
'You, you are to blame for everything!' she cried, with tears of despair and anger in her voice, getting up.
'I begged, I implored you not to go; I knew it would be unpleasant...'
'Unpleasant!' she cried. 'Hideous! As long as I live I shall never forget it. She said it was a disgrace to sit beside me.'" Part 5, Chapter 33, pg. 576
They leave for the country to relax. Anna begins to notice how Vronsky resembles Karenin in his concern for what others think--why can't she find an independent man, she wonders.
Anna starts to dream that Vronsky doesn't love her. Certain events and emotions are literally driving her insane.