Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 29 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 29 Summary

The crowd is horrified when Vronsky and his horse fall to the ground, and Anna Karenina moans out loud. Soon, though, she “utterly loses her head.” She is desperate to leave and insists Betsy leave with her, but Betsy does not notice her or her agitated state. Alexey Alexandrovitch offers his arm to take her away, but she does not notice him. Without answering him, Anna Karenina looks desperately through her opera-glasses but cannot see anything because a crowd has gathered around Vronsky and his horse.

An officer gallops to make an announcement to the Tsar, but she cannot hear what he says. Anna Karenina calls for her brother, but he does not hear her. Once again Alexey Alexandrovitch courteously reaches toward her to help her leave, but she shrinks away in aversion and does not even look at him when she tells him to leave her alone.

When she hears that the rider is fine but the horse has broken her back, Anna Karenina sits down and begins to sob uncontrollably. Alexey Alexandrovitch stands in front of her to screen her from the crowd and allow her time to recover. After a bit, he offers his arm again; his wife does not know what to say. Betsy comes to rescue her, explaining that she brought her so she will take her home, but Alexey Alexandrovitch insists that his wife is not well and will take her home with him.

Anna Karenina gets up submissively, and Betsy whispers that she will contact Vronsky and let her know. They walk out; he makes small talk as always and she worries whether Vronsky really is alive and whether she will be able to see him tonight. In the carriage both are silent. Alexey Alexandrovitch still refuses to consider anything but the outward symptoms of his wife’s distress.

He feels it is his duty to talk to her about her unbecoming behavior. When he does, Anna Karenina looks directly at him and asks what she has done which is unbecoming. After shutting the window so the coachman cannot hear, Alexey Alexandrovitch tells her it was her unconcealed despair when one of the riders fell. When she says nothing, he...

(The entire section is 552 words.)