Anna Karenina Part 6, Chapter 19 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 6, Chapter 19 Summary

Darya Alexandrovitch scans her room. Everything in it gives her the impression of wealth and sumptuousness, the kind of modern European luxury she has read about in English novels but had never seen in Russia. Everything is new and expensive. The maid who comes to help Dolly get settled is more fashionable than she is and is well suited to her surroundings. Dolly likes the maid’s neatness and her deferential manners, but she feels ill at ease and even ashamed when the woman unpacks Dolly’s clothing. Her old, patched dressing jacket had been packed by mistake, and here the patches and darned places seem quite out of place. (At home she is quite proud of her thriftiness, as she has to make every shilling count.)

Dolly is comfortably relieved when another maid, Annushka, a woman she has known for years, takes the place of the fashionable maid. Annushka is obviously pleased to see Dolly and begins chattering as she works. Dolly senses that the maid is longing to express her opinion about her mistress’s position and her continued love and devotion to her. When Anna Karenina enters, Dolly is thankful the maid is finally silent.

Her hostess has changed into a very simple but elegant dress, and Dolly understands how much “simple” costs. Dolly notes that Anna Karenina has recovered from their earlier conversation and now wants to speak only of more lighthearted matters. Dolly asks about the little girl, Annie, and they are soon on their way to see her. Dolly wants to ask what surname Anna Karenina has given her daughter, but she does not. Anna Karenina senses the question and says that it is the one worrisome thing to Vronsky, that his child’s last name is Karenin.

The nursery is even more strikingly luxurious than the rest of the house. When they arrive, the baby is being fed by a Russian nurse. When she hears Anna Karenina, an unpleasant English nurse enters the room, defending herself as though her employer had found fault with her. The child is delightful and Dolly is enchanted by her, but she does not like the entire atmosphere of the nursery. She can only assume that Anna Karenina had...

(The entire section is 555 words.)