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Part 7, Chapters 23-31 Notes from Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapters 23-31

Anna has convinced herself that Vronsky is in love with a certain Princess Sorokina. Yet Vronsky has had his fill of Anna's paranoia. She has become too difficult to live with. Vronsky continues to go to public places like the opera, knowing that Anna cannot accompany him. Perhaps he has done so because he needs to get away from Anna often.

"Now nothing mattered: going or not going to Vozdvizhenskoe, getting or not getting a divorce from her husband. All that did not matter. The only thing that mattered was punishing him. When she poured out her usual dose of opium, and thought that she had only to drink off the whole bottle to die, it seemed to her so simple and easy that she began musing with enjoyment on how he would suffer, and repent and love her memory when it would be too late." Part 7, Chapter 26, pg. 781

The two have another fight and decide to return to the country to relax. Vronsky has some business to take care of, and somewhere along the process he will have to meet with Princess Sorokina. When Anna realizes this, she throws a fit.

The next day Anna refuses to go to the country. Vronsky receives a letter from Stiva saying that Karenin won't divorce Anna. Vronsky tries to comfort Anna by telling her she and the children are important in his life. But Anna, being cold and difficult as ever, says that Vronsky mentioned the children because he doesn't ever think of her alone. She is stirring the caldron here, but Vronsky remains collected.

Once he leaves, Anna convinces herself that Vronsky has said cruel things to her. She tells a servant to inform Vronsky that she'd like not to be disturbed while she sleeps, as she's about to go to bed. But then she tells herself that if Vronsky really loves her he'll come to her room and see to her. How could Vronsky know to do such a thing? Respecting her desires to be undisturbed, Vronsky goes to sleep in his study.

That night Anna has the recurring nightmare of the man banging on the railroad tracks.

The next day, the Princess Sorokina stops by with papers for Vronsky to read. Anna becomes enraged. Vronsky doesn't know how to handle her. He leaves the house. Anna sends him a note apologizing, but it doesn't get there in time. She sends the servant to Vronsky's mother's house. She even goes over to Dolly's, where she ends up meeting with Kitty. She instantly thinks Vronsky wishes he married Kitty. She purposely tells Kitty how charming Levin was when they met that night, intending to make Kitty jealous. But Kitty doesn't get jealous. She instead feels sorry for a woman in decay.

When Anna gets home she receives a note from Vronsky saying he won't be back that night until 10. She is angry with him and decides to go to his mother's to see him sooner. She doesn't understand that he never received her apologetic note, so he isn't aware of her feelings.

Anna hops onto the carriage to head to the train station, so she can go to Vronsky's mother's home. There, she hurts herself by envisioning Vronsky and the Princess together. She thinks of her husband, Karenin, and her son, Seriozha. She ponders betrayal. In the process, she forgets entirely why she has come to the train station; her servant must remind her.

She gets onto the train certain she has found the meaning of life: everyone is born to suffer.

She arrives at the transfer station and there receives a note from Vronsky apologizing and explaining that he didn't receive her note. Despite his kindness, she is infuriated. The only thing on her mind is punishing Vronsky for these supposed infidelities. She bends down to the tracks, so a train car can run over her body.

"But she did not take her eyes from the wheels of the second car. And exactly at the moment when the midpoint between the wheels drew level with her, she threw away the red bag, and drawing her head back into her shoulders, fell on her hands under the car, and with a light movement, as though she would rise immediately, dropped on her knees. And at the instant she was terror-stricken at what she was doing. 'Where am I? What am I doing? What for?' She tried to get up, to throw herself back; but something huge and merciless struck her on the head and dragged her down on her back." Part 7, Chapter 31, pg. 798

But it is too late. Anna Karenina is hit by a train and killed.

Anna dies at the hands of revenge, killing herself to hurt Vronsky. Anna has tried to distance herself from the natural birth-death cycle--both in her refusal to have children with Vronsky and by thinking of her own death as a means to harm Vronsky. Nowhere along the way does she share Kitty's understanding of life or Levin's strength of conviction. In many ways, she has brought about her own misfortune and spent her entire life suffering the consequences of her own actions.

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