Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 26 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 26 Summary

Nothing between the Karenins has changed, though Alexey Alexandrovitch is even busier than ever. He has not spoken one word of his suspicions or his jealousies since their initial conversation, though he speaks to her in his jeering tone and is a bit colder to her, as if he is vexed or annoyed. He acts as if he has vainly tried to extinguish a fire and now takes pleasure in watching her burn.

Though he is astute in his political dealings, Alexey Alexandrovitch is unaware of how senseless this attitude is with his wife because he has locked his heart and the things that matter to him the most (his wife and son) are sealed off from his real life. He used to be an attentive father, as well, but now he treats his son the same way he treats his wife.

This is the busiest year Alexey Alexandrovitch has ever had; what he does not realize is that he has sought out the extra work in an attempt to keep his secret feelings locked away. If anyone had dared ask him about his wife’s behavior, he would have been angry and dismissive. Now, when anyone even inquires about his wife’s health, his face grows haughty and imperious. Alexey Alexandrovitch does not want to give one moment’s thought to his wife or her behavior, and most of the time he succeeds.

Alexey Alexandrovitch’s summer villa is in Peterhof, and the Countess Lidia Ivanova usually stayed with them to be close to Anna Karenina. This year Ivanova does not go and hints to Alexey Alexandrovitch that his wife’s close friendship with Vronsky is improper; he cuts her off and says his wife is above reproach, thereafter avoiding Ivanova. He does not want to understand why his wife insists on staying where Betsy is staying—near the camp of Vronsky’s regiment—and has no clear evidence of unfaithfulness. In his deepest heart, though, Alexey Alexandrovitch knows he is a “deceived husband” and is profoundly miserable because of it.

He has seen this behavior in other marriages and never understood how people did not end their relationships because of it. Now that he is in...

(The entire section is 558 words.)