Anna Karenina Part 3, Chapter 30 Summary

Leo Tolstoy

Part 3, Chapter 30 Summary

By the end of September, all the profits for the shared work have been paid to the peasants. Levin, at least, considers the venture to be a success. Now, to finish his book and, he hopes, revolutionize his country’s political economy, Levin must travel abroad for more research. His dream is to create a new science of agriculture—a new way of looking at the relationship between people and the land. All he is waiting on is the delivery of his wheat crop.

Unfortunately, the rains begin and everything on the farm is mired in mud; all work must be stopped. Even his wheat cannot be delivered. On the last day of September, the sun is shining and Levin determines to leave. After giving a few last directions for the care of his estate, Levin prepares for his journey.

He spends the day wet and miserable as he finishes some activities outside, but he heads back home for dinner in good spirits, excited and confident about his plans. The weather has worsened but he is more content than ever about his new way of farming after having an old servant actually accept his ideas and propose a partnership in the buying of cattle. If he continues striving toward his goal, he feels that he will eventually attain it. It is something worth striving for, a “bloodless revolution” of the greatest magnitude. It will begin in the little circle of his district, work its way to the province, and then capture the whole country because a good idea must be fruitful, he believes. It all began because he went to a ball and was refused by the Shtcherbatsky girl.

Levin arrives home in the dark. Later that evening, he thinks about all the things he should be adding to his book; however, he does not have time to write anything because the leaders of the peasants have come to see him. After he gives them all directions about what must be done while he is away, he finally sits at his writing table and his housekeeper settles in across the room with her knitting.

After writing for a bit, Levin begins to think vividly about Kitty, their last meeting, and her refusal. He begins pacing the room. His housekeeper tells him he has been working hard and should go take a needed rest somewhere. She adds that all the peasants believe he should be getting special recognition from the Tsar for worrying about and helping them so much. Levin assures her he is not doing these things for their benefit but for his own. She comments that she thinks he should get married. Because his thoughts had just been on that very matter, Levin is stung by her words and scowls silently before sitting down again. The silence is heavy in the room until nine o’clock, when a bell announces the arrival of a visitor.