Part 1, Chapter 13 Summary
After dinner, Kitty’s heart is pounding with the intensity of a young man’s before going into battle as she waits to see Levin this evening, an evening she believes will be the turning point in her life. As she thinks about her past, Kitty has nothing but fond memories of her relations with Levin. She feels certain of his love and finds it flattering and delightful; in contrast, there has always been an element of awkwardness in her exchanges with Vronsky.
The flaw is not in him, for he has never been anything but simple and nice to her; however, there is always a “false note” when she is with Vronsky. On the other hand, when she looks into the future, Kitty sees a life of “brilliant happiness” with Vronsky; with Levin the future seems misty and uncertain.
When she goes upstairs to dress for the evening, she is thrilled to note that this is one of her good days, when all of her forces and assets are in accord and she exudes an external composure and ease of movement. She enters the drawing room just at seven-thirty as the footman announces “Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin.” She waits alone before he enters, certain that he has come early to find her alone in order to make her an offer of marriage.
She glances in the mirror and is stunned at how pale she looks, and suddenly she realizes this question will necessarily affect more than just her and who she will be happy with and love for the rest of her life. It is a moment in which she alone has the power to cruelly wound a man she likes for no other reason than that he is in love with her. But there is nothing to be done so it will have to be.
Suddenly she wonders if she will really be able to tell him that she does not love him, which is not true, or that she loves someone else. She cannot do it and prepares to leave the room when she hears his footsteps. Kitty collects herself and scolds...
(The entire section is 537 words.)