Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary

Although Darya Alexandrovitch has recently given birth to a baby girl, she arrives at her parents’ home shortly after the doctor. She knows this is the day on which Kitty’s fate is to be decided. When she asks the doctor’s diagnosis, no one can give her much information. The only thing they all know is that Kitty is going abroad.

Her sister is going away, and Darya Alexandrovitch is sad at the thought because her life has been quite cheerless this winter. The reconciliation which Anna Karenina began has not gone well, and Darya Alexandrovitch’s relationship with her husband is falling apart again over the same issue: She continually suspects him of infidelities. Although nothing specific has been said about the matter, Stepan Arkadyevitch is never home, and there is never any money.

Now nothing can affect her emotionally as much as her first attack of jealousy; now a discovery of infidelity would mean only a drastic change in family habits. Darya Alexandrovitch is tired from caring for her family: Her nursing the new baby is not going very well, the children’s nurse has left, and now one of the children is ill. If it is scarlatina, as suspected, Darya Alexandrovitch will have to quarantine herself and her family, but for now she is here to support Kitty.

Kitty’s mother tells her husband he should probably not go abroad with them; the prince defers to her wishes. As he ruffles Kitty’s hair, she asks why he should not go. It has always seemed to her that her father understands her best, and now when he looks at her, he seems to see the cause of her physical ailments.

The prince asks Darya Alexandrovitch about her husband, remarking that Stepan Arkadyevitch is not even in Moscow; he tells her Stepan has left for the country to see about selling a forest. He then tells Kitty that she must wake up one day and just decide she is well and happy and ready to go on a walk with her father. His advice seems simple, but Kitty knows following it is not easy. She can sense that her father understands her shame and that he is telling...

(The entire section is 557 words.)