Part 8, Chapters 6-19 Notes from Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina Part 8, Chapters 6-19

Sergei goes to visit Kitty and his half-brother on their estate. There, on the estate, Kitty is happy because the baby is starting to understand more and even recognize people he knows. But just as this is happening, Levin grows more restless. He is studying more and more these days, and personal growth is lost. He doesn't understand how he was able to pray when Kitty was pregnant, all the while rejecting any belief in God. Levin is still looking for faith.

Topic Tracking: Balance 6

The climax for Levin, the hero of Anna Karenina, comes when he speaks with a peasant named Theodore. Theodore tells him we should live not for our bellies, but for our souls. We must remember God and things that are bigger than us. Levin suddenly understands what this means, realizing that the best things are beyond our control as humans. How appropriate that a peasant helps Levin to realize all of this.

"But now, since his marriage, when he had begun to confine himself more and more to living for himself, though he experienced no delight at all at the thought of the work he was doing, he felt absolutely convinced of its necessity, saw that it succeeded far better than in the past, and that it kept on growing more and more." Part 8, Chapter 10, pg. 823

Levin becomes ecstatic, thinking he understands the meaning of life. He thinks to himself that he will never again be anything but kind to everyone in sight. Shortly afterward, though, he yells at a peasant and becomes confused. Yet in his new state of clarity he realizes that having faith doesn't equal perfection. Levin, like others, understands now that to be human is to be flawed.

When Levin approaches home, coming in from his land, he hears that Kitty and the baby have gone into the woods. A thunderstorm crashes down. Levin is frightened that they could be struck by lightning. He finds them in the woods, finally, safe but soaked. The storm represents the confusion in Levin's mind. Yet right after Levin finds his family, the sky clears. Everyone is safe again.

"Just as the bees, whirling round him, now menacing him and distracting his attention, prevented him from enjoying complete physical peace, forced him to restrain his movements to avoid them, so had the petty cares that had swarmed about him from the moment he got into the trap restricted his spiritual freedom; but that lasted only so long as he was among them. Just as his bodily strength was still unaffected in spite of the bees, so too was the spiritual strength that he had just become aware of." Part 8, Chapter 14, pg. 837

Topic Tracking: Balance 7

The final scene in the novel depicts the new baby, Mitya, recognizing his father, Levin. It is as if the younger generation is thinking of and evaluating the older generation, much in the way he older generation thinks of the younger generation. Levin realizes this and understands that the cycle of life has come full circle.

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