Anna Karenina Fridays – Week Eight


This week for the Anna Karenina read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables, I read up to Part VI Chapter I.  With this week’s reading, we returned more to the plot-lines with Anna, Vronsky, Kitty and Levin.

I was impressed with how strong Kitty has become in this week’s reading.  It was definitely a major 180 degree turn from where Kitty was early on in the book.  She showed such strength of character when Levin wanted to leave her behind to tend to Levin’s dying brother.  I couldn’t believe her poise and courage while dealing with a unique situation.  All the while dealing with Marya, who, clearly, in my opinion, couldn’t hold a candle to Kitty.

Kitty has certainly come of age as far as I’m concerned.  Since she realized she loved Levin, she’s become much more mature and aware of exactly who she is, what she wants to do, and where she wants to go.  She’s so comfortable in her own skin.  Finally, a good strong woman in this book!

That’s the direct opposite of Anna.  There’s so much I want to say about Anna and her actions during this week’s reading.  I’m not quite sure where to begin.  She definitely doesn’t seem as sure of herself at this time.  She wanted to see her son, but asked permission from Alex Karenin’s friend/caretaker Countess Lydia.  She definitely isn’t comfortable enough with herself to ask her husband’s blessing to see her son Seryozha.  And then when she does run into Alex, she simply nods her head and proceeds to leave.

And then, later on, she goes to the opera, where she’s treated as the adulteress that everyone has come to know her as.  Vronsky was clearly embarrassed with the situation.  Was this episode a version of Anna going through a period of purging/forgiveness of her sin of adultery, in the form of social rejection she experienced?  I’m not sure.  All that I know is that this episode will have an effect, not only on Anna’s soul, but Vronsky’s impression of his future life.

Finally, touching further on my mention of Anna requesting permission to see Seryozha from Countess Lydia, I’m not sure what to think of the Countess.  I definitely get the impression that she’s in love with Alex Karenin.  Was her rejection, and tone in her response to Anna’s request, an attempt to protect Alex from Anna?  Or was she just hitting back at the woman who hurt the person she now loves?  I’m not sure.  Alex clearly has some sort of affection toward the Countess, but I’m not quite sure he reciprocates her exact feelings.  I’ll be interested to see how that relationship evolves.

Overall, a very interesting week of reading.  I’m looking forward to completing my reading of Anna Karenina, it’s definitely turning out to be one of the more interesting books I’ve ever read!

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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