Anna Karenina Part 6, Chapter 6 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 6, Chapter 6 Summary

While the children have their tea, the grownups sit on the balcony and talk as if nothing significant has happened; however, all of them (and especially Sergey Ivanovitch and Varenka) are quite aware that something momentous, though negative, has transpired. Levin and Kitty are especially happy and conscious of their love that evening.

The old princess is sure that her husband will not be with Stepan Arkadyevitch when he arrives on the train from Moscow, though he had written that he might come. If he does not come, Kitty’s mother says with a sigh that she will be going home to keep her husband company. The emotion in her voice is real; her daughters do not know that though she has been happy and felt useful here, she has been utterly miserable ever since Kitty got married and moved out of their house.

Suddenly the housekeeper is at the door and says she needs to speak to someone about supper; Kitty will go to see what is needed. Dolly prepares to listen to her oldest son’s Latin lesson; one of their conditions for going to the country for the summer is that Grisha continue the Latin and arithmetic lessons he was taking in Moscow. Levin offered to teach the lessons, but after watching him, Dolly tactfully told him that he must teach strictly from the book. Levin is amazed that Stepan Arkadyevitch has allowed his wife to supervise his children’s education, and he is appalled that the teachers they chose are teaching the children so badly. Nevertheless, Levin teaches the lessons as Dolly requested; as a result, Grisha is constantly bored and often forgets his lessons. Levin leaves to hear the lesson, promising again to teach strictly like the book.

Varenka volunteers to deal with the housekeeper regarding supper, and after she leaves Kitty remarks that Varenka is an “exquisite girl.” Sergey Ivanovitch changes the subject, and the old princess takes this opportunity to ask Sergey Ivanovitch to convince his brother that Kitty must come to Moscow to have her baby. Kitty is angry at her mother’s interference, but their discussion is interrupted by the sound of horses approaching.

(The entire section is 553 words.)