Anna Karenina Part 5, Chapter 20 Summary

Leo Tolstoy

Part 5, Chapter 20 Summary

The next day Nikolay receives the sacrament and extreme unction; he prays with such desperate hope that it is awful for Levin to see. He understands that this will make Nikolay even bitterer about leaving this life. This sudden return to religion is not a legitimate one, inspired by his intellect; instead it is a temporary and desperate hope for recovery. As the rite is performed, Levin makes a familiar deathbed request that if God exists He should save them both.

After the ritual, Nikolay becomes suddenly much better. He seems strong and even has an appetite. Despite the fact that he seems so hopelessly ill he will never recover, Levin and Kitty are both happy in that first hour. The self-deception is short-lived when...

(The entire section is 553 words.)