Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 3 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 3 Summary

Kitty’s room is pink and pretty and happy—just as she had been only two months earlier. Darya Alexandrovitch is there to console her, but she does not have much hope for it when she sees Kitty sitting sullenly. Explaining that she may be quarantined soon, Darya Alexandrovitch wants to talk to her sister now about Kitty's "trouble."

Kitty denies having any trouble, but Darya Alexandrovitch assures her that "[w]e've all been through it"; Vronsky is not worth her sister's grief, she counsels. Kitty begs her not to talk about the subject. When Darya Alexandrovitch adds that she is certain Vronsky had once been in love with her sister, Kitty interrupts, shrieking that she hates sympathy most of all.

Suddenly Kitty clenches her hands in great agitation and rants about being in love with a man who does not care for her and about “dying of love for him” now. Any condolences for her circumstances are just unwanted “humbug.” Darya Alexandrovitch does not know what to say, but in her fury, Kitty says a great deal--more than she intended to say.

Kitty claims she has nothing to grieve and needs no consolation, since she is too proud to care for a man who does not love her. When her sister asks if Levin spoke to her, Kitty loses any remaining self-control, and her entire body shows her agitation. In a final outburst, Kitty exclaims she has enough pride that she would never go back to a man who had cared for another woman, though Darya Alexandrovitch certainly would.

After hurling these hurtful words, Kitty intends to leave the room. Instead she sees her sister sitting in silence, head bowed "mournfully," and sinks to the floor, hiding her face in a handkerchief. For two minutes there is silence. Darya Alexandrovitch thinks of her own humiliation, particularly bitter because her sister has reminded her of it. She is angry at Kitty for the unexpected cruelty. Then she hears a rustling of skirts and an anguished sobbing as Kitty embraces her, burying her face in Darya Alexandrovitch's skirt.

Through tears, the sisters finally talk; though they do...

(The entire section is 538 words.)