Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapter 12 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 7, Chapter 12 Summary

Once her guests leave, Anna Karenina paces the room. She had done her utmost to arouse in Levin a feeling of love, something she has been doing lately with all young man. She knows she attained her goal, as much as is possible in one evening with a conscientious married man. She likes Levin very much; though he and Vronsky are nothing alike in many ways, she sees something they have in common which makes her able to love both men. Yet, as soon as Levin is gone, she does not think of him again.

Only one thought consumes her: if so many other men can fall so easily and devotedly in love with her, why is Vronsky so cold to her. Though he does love her, there is something new which is drawing them apart. Why, for example, had he not come home for the evening? He clearly wants her to know that his love for her must not interfere with his freedom. Vronsky should understand the bitterness of her life in Moscow, waiting for an event which is continually postponed. She is trapped and can do nothing to alter her circumstances. She invents amusements for herself, including the English family and writing a children’s book, but they merely serve as her morphine.

When she hears Vronsky arrive home, she hurriedly dries her tears and affects a calm demeanor, intending to show him her displeasure that he did not come home tonight as he had promised. She refuses to show that she is distressed, however; “she might pity herself, but he must not pity her.” Though she does not want to quarrel, she is antagonistic.

Vronsky notes that she could not have been bored tonight, since she had company, and asks how she liked Levin. When he explains that Yashvin had been gambling and losing but he managed to get him away, but now Yashvin is gambling again. Anna Karenina uses his own words against him: Vronsky told Stepan Arkadyevitch he needed to stay with Yashvin to keep him from losing too much while gambling, yet he left his friend at the gambling table to come home....

(The entire section is 553 words.)