Part 2, Chapter 18 Summary
Although Vronsky’s personal life is consumed with his passion, his professional life is still taken up with his military career and, particularly, his regiment. It is an important part of his life, both because he genuinely likes his regiment but also because he is a favorite of the men of his regiment.
The men in his unit not only respect him and are proud of him, but they also truly like him. They are proud to say that this man of immense wealth, extraordinary education, superior abilities, and many levels of success and ambition disregarded all of his other opportunities so he could be one of them and have the regiment’s interests be the closest thing to his heart. Vronsky is well aware of his comrades’ sentiments about him and is determined to keep his reputation as he continues to live a military life he enjoys.
It is not at all surprising that Vronsky has kept the secret of his love for Anna Karenina from his men, not even betraying his heart during the most drunken moments (though it must be said he never gets drunk enough to lose such control of himself). If any of the men allude to his love, he silences them immediately. Despite these precautions, it is no secret to anyone in town that Vronsky loves Anna Karenina.
Everyone is able to guess, with more or less confidence, that he is connected to her. The younger men of the city are envious of his relationship with a woman in such an exalted position and the consequent publicity he achieves because of it. Most of the young women in St. Petersburg have long envied the virtuous reputation held by Anna Karenina and are now waiting for public opinion to turn on her and the weight of scorn to fall on her. The middle-aged people and people of consequence in society are unhappy at the prospect of the certain impending scandal.
At first, Vronsky’s mother is pleased at the connection between her son and Anna Karenina, for she believes nothing gives a “finishing-touch” to...
(The entire section is 527 words.)