Anna Karenina Part 2, Chapter 34 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 2, Chapter 34 Summary

Prince Shtcherbatsky has traveled while his wife and daughters stayed near the waters, and now he has returned. While his wife thinks everything about traveling abroad is delightful and she takes on the airs of a sophisticated European lady, the prince finds everything foreign to be detestable and keeps to his Russian habits and acts less European than he really is.

He is much thinner now, but he is in good spirits. When he sees that Kitty has completely recovered, his cheerfulness increases. He is concerned and somewhat jealous when his wife tells him of Kitty’s friendship with Madame Stahl and Mademoiselle Varenka and the resultant change in her, but he is in too positive a frame of mind to stay upset for long. The day after he arrives, the prince walks with his daughter to the spring.

It is a beautiful day, but as they draw closer to the spring they incongruously see more sick people. Kitty has adjusted to the contrast, but her father feels somewhat guilty about his own vigor and strength as he walks with his favorite daughter on his arm on this glorious day. He asks Kitty to introduce him to all her new friends.

Eventually they meet Varenka walking toward them carrying a bag. Once Kitty introduces her, Varenka talks to the prince naturally and without shyness, the same as she talks with everyone. Kitty is thrilled to see that her father likes her new friend. Varenka has to continue her errand and the prince asks Kitty to introduce all her friends, even Madame Stahl if she will deign to recognize him.

Kitty is surprised and hesitant at the news that her father knew Madame Stahl; he says that was before she joined the Pietists, a group that gives God thanks for every circumstance, good and bad. The prince sees a piteous sick man and asks Kitty who it is; she tells him it is Petrov, though she is distracted because Anna Pavlovna had turned and walked the other way the instant they approached, ostensibly to chase a wayward child. The prince wonders why they did not stop to talk to Petrov, as the artist...

(The entire section is 551 words.)