Part 3, Chapter 9 Summary
As they arrive home after bathing in the river, Darya Alexandrovna is delighted to see Levin waiting for them—and he is delighted to see her at this happy moment of contentment with her life. When he looks at her, Levin sees the epitome of a satisfying family life.
As they greet one another warmly, Levin gently scolds her for not letting him know she was in the country. Darya Alexandrovna is surprised that her husband cared enough to send Levin a letter asking him to come to see her. Levin begins to explain his offer to help her in any way but then stops, embarrassed, thinking she may be annoyed at an offer of help from him when it is her husband who should be helping her.
Levin is right. Darya Alexandrovna is not at all happy that her husband has foisted his responsibilities on others, and it is even more annoying to her that Levin realizes it. It is just this kind of sensibility, however, which makes her like Levin. He again offers to help in any way he can, since here in the country, tasks are probably not being done to her usual standards. Darya Alexandrovna demurs. Although the lodge was in an awful mess when they first arrived, she explains, she is content now, thanks to her old nurse, Mary Philimonovna.
Levin offers to let the children run with the horse up to the house. They all hesitate for a moment; they do not know him well. However, they sense in him an innate lack of hypocrisy, unusual in an adult, and they show him the same friendliness reflected on their mother’s face. Two of the older children jump out of the carriage and run freely with him. Lily begs to run but cannot, so Levin perches her on his shoulder and runs with her.
Darya Alexandrovna is not at all nervous as she sees how strong and careful Levin is, and she smiles approvingly. Here in this setting, she sees a childlike lightheartedness she particularly likes in him; feeling content,...
(The entire section is 517 words.)