Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapters 18-22
In these chapters we see what Levin fears as the future of Russia--one that is entirely industrialized.
The story returns to Stiva, who has ever-worsening finances. He is trying to get a government job with the Committee of the Joint Agency of the Mutual Credit Balance of Southern Railways and Banking Houses. It is a long-winded, bureaucratic name for the position, and the job itself is bureaucratic and jejune.
Karenin, of all people, decides to help Stiva get the job. This seems like an odd pairing, since Stiva has been the one asking Karenin to divorce Anna all along. Karenin finally asks Stiva to come late one night to Countess Lydia's, where he will share with Stiva his decision on the divorce from Anna. There, Stiva learns something strange about Karenin from Lydia: Karenin has "fallen under the influence" of a clairvoyant named Landau. This mysterious man apparently has thrown society for a loop, even causing one socialite to adopt him and dub him Count Bezzubov. Lydia tells Stiva that Karenin will do whatever Landau advises.
We see Landau enter into a trance, muttering weird words and listening for voices. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Landau tells Stiva he must leave. The very next morning, Stiva gets a note saying the divorce cannot happen.
Landau is a fake. By coming under his sway, Karenin and Countess Lydia show that they really don't have any true religious feelings in their hearts. Karenin is using religion as a ploy to further punish Anna. He kids himself into thinking he actually is being led by a higher power now. Karenin appears to be a very weak character. We have witnessed his gradual decline.