Anna Karenina Part 1, Chapter 29 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 1, Chapter 29 Summary

As Anna Karenina stands under the carriage stand at the train station, the snow and wind whip around her in a tempest. There is much activity around her, men banging doors closed and muffled, snow-covered people bustling on the platform. Just as she withdraws her hand from her muff to reach for the door so she can re-board the train, a nearby man in a military overcoat steps into the light between her and the lamp post. As she looks toward him, Anna Karenina recognizes Vronsky’s face.

Vronsky puts his hand on the peak of his cap and asks if there is anything he can do for her. For a long time she simply stands and looks at him. Even in the shadows, she can see (or imagines she can see) the same look of “reverential ecstasy” in his eyes which she saw and reacted to just the day before. Anna Karenina has been telling herself for the past few days, and even the past few minutes, that Vronsky is just another young man in her world and he means no more or less to her than any other young man she might meet in the course of her life. She had already decided that she would never allow herself to think of him again, but at the first moment of seeing him here she is gripped by a feeling of “joyful pride.” She knows without his saying it that he is here simply to be close to her.

Anna Karenina drops her hand and says, with an irrepressible eagerness on her face, that she did not know he was leaving Moscow. Vronsky says what she already knew: he is there to be where she is. He tells her he could not help himself. The storm is even more ferocious and glorious to Anna Karenina now that he has said what her soul was longing to hear. Her mind and reason fear it, though, and she does not answer. In her silence, Vronsky apologizes if she does not like what he said, though it is the truth and he does not back away from his statement.

She is silent...

(The entire section is 540 words.)