Part 7, Chapter 10 Summary
Anna Karenina rises with unconcealed pleasure to meet Levin. As she holds out her hand to him, introduces him to her other guest, and indicates a young girl in the room whom she calls her pupil, Levin recognizes and likes the manners of a well bred woman, always self-possessed and natural. Anna Karenina’s words assume a special significance for Levin. She tells him she has liked him for a long time, both for his friendship with her brother and because she thinks so highly of Kitty.
Levin feels immediately at ease with her and feels as if he is making a positive impression. Stepan Arkadyevitch and his sister share a few pleasantries as Levin continues to examine the portrait. He looks from the likeness to the original, and a “peculiar brilliance” lights Anna Karenina’s face when she feels his eyes on her.
Levin talks with Anna Karenina about his views on many things, but the conversation is nothing like any of the conversations he had participated in all morning. It is pleasant to speak to her and to listen to her, and every word seems to have a special significance. Their conversation centers on the new movement in art and the new illustrations of the Bible by a French artist. Levin believes that the French has taken conventionality further than anyone and because of that they see a great merit in returning to realism. “In the fact of not lying they see poetry.” Never has Levin been more pleased with something he has said than with this clever remark, and his hostess appreciates it, as well.
When Anna Karenina makes a remark to her brother, Levin thinks this is a magnificent woman; forgetting himself, he stares persistently at her lovely, animated face. Levin hears nothing of their conversation, but he is struck by her change of expression. Her calm look of repose suddenly becomes a look of strange curiosity, anger, and pride. This look lasts only for an instant, and then she drops her eyelids as though she is remembering...
(The entire section is 524 words.)