Part 6, Chapter 18 Summary
Anna Karenina looks at her sister-in-law and sees a worn face with dust from the road settled into the wrinkles and wants to tell her that she is thinner; however, she knows that in contrast she has gotten prettier, and she can see in Dolly’s eyes that she has noticed. So, she sighs and says Dolly must be wondering how she can be so happy in such an unconventional situation. Anna Karenina only knows that something wonderful has happened to her. After living through misery and dread for many years, she is now happy.
Dolly is glad for her sister-in-law’s happiness, but when she tells her so it is with a colder voice than she intends. Anna Karenina has not written because she did not have the courage to do so in her position, but Dolly reminds her that she is in no position to judge such things. Dolly wants to express the thoughts she had on the journey, but those thoughts seem out of place now; instead she asks about the buildings they are passing. Anna Karenina is unwilling to change the subject and asks what Dolly really thinks of her position.
This seems an odd place to have such a private conversation, but Dolly does tell Anna Karenina that she has always loved her, and to her that means loving the people exactly as they are and not how one might want them to be. Lowering her eyes (a new habit which Dolly has not seen in her friend), Anna Karenina tries to grasp the full significance of the words and finally speaks. With tears in her eyes, she tells Dolly that any sins she ever committed should be forgiven for coming here and saying those words to her.
They look at the village, and Anna Karenina explains that everything had been in ruin, but Vronsky had redone and rebuilt it all. He loves this place in the country and has unexpectedly taken a great interest in looking after it. In some ways he is quite careful with money, but he is also generous; he is even building a new hospital for the...
(The entire section is 537 words.)