Notes on Anna Karenina Themes

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Anna Karenina Topic Tracking: Relationships

Part 1, Chapters 1-6

Relationships 1: A cluster of relationships is established: Anna and her husband, Karenin; Anna and her lover, Vronsky; Dolly and Stiva; Kitty and Levin; and ,perhaps most important, Anna and Levin, the two protagonists.

Part 1, Chapters 16-22

Relationships 2: Anna is starting to use her beauty here to captivate Vronsky. This is the beginning of a relationship that will consume both Anna and the book.

Part 1, Chapters 28-33

Relationships 3: Anna recognizes she is having moments of passion when flirting with Vronsky. By flirting, she acts unfairly to her own husband and infuriates Kitty, who quite obviously wants Vronsky all to herself. This is the first instance of Anna establishing herself as a weak individual and a poor friend.

Part 2, Chapters 26-29

Relationships 4: Karenin gets angry at Anna for ignoring him at the horse race. He confronts her, and she blatantly declares that she is in love with Vronsky. This is a crucial moment where Karenin suddenly loses some emphasis, which is stolen from him by the relationship unfolding between Anna and Vronsky.

Part 3, Chapters 7-11

Relationships 5: Levin, who had previously been rejected by Kitty, realizes he is still entirely in love with her and must ask her once again to be his faithful wife. He wants to spend his life with her.

Part 3, Chapters 12-23

Relationships 6: Karenin tells Anna there is no way she can see Vronsky anymore. He must preserve his honor in society. Karenin's relationships are crumbling. He considers divorcing Anna and challenging Vronsky to a duel, but decides against both. He is gradually decaying.

Part 4, Chapters 1-15

Relationships 7: For the first time, Kitty and Levin relate on a very intuitive level. It is easy to note the contrast between this relationship and any of Anna's relationships. This one is harmonic and balanced, with each party respecting the other and believing in the union.

Part 5, Chapters 1-6

Relationships 8: The foundation between Kitty and Levin is built around the idea of faith. The unparalleled strength between them develops even further.

Part 7, Chapters 1-12

Relationships 9: This is the crucial meeting point between Anna and Levin, an event which disrupts the relationships established in the book. Anna flirts with Levin, and Levin is slightly taken with her, infuriating Kitty. The happy couple reconciles, though. Anna grows more insecure about herself after this meeting with Levin, and she and Vronsky don't reconcile nearly as easily.

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