Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapter 13 Summary
by Leo Tolstoy

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Part 7, Chapter 13 Summary

Levin now believes there are no conditions which a man cannot become used to if he sees that everyone around him is living in those conditions. Three months ago, he would not have believed that he could have slept soundly after a day like he had today. He is living an aimless, irrational life, and today he lived beyond his means, drank to excess, formed an excessively friendly relationship with a man with whom his wife was once in love, called on what society has called a “lost woman,” and became fascinated with that woman which caused his wife to become distressed. All of that, yet Levin’s sleep is untroubled.

He is awakened by the creak of a door at five o’clock and jumps up and looks around. Kitty is not in bed beside him, but Levin sees a light behind the screen and hears Kitty’s footsteps. She appears from behind the screen and says there is nothing wrong; she simply feels a bit unwell. As she says it, she is smiling a “particularly sweet and meaningful smile.” Levin is terrified that his wife’s labor has begun, but she assures him it is nothing and gets back into bed. Though her stillness is suspicious to him, Levin takes her at her word that nothing is wrong and promptly goes back to sleep.

At seven o’clock, Kitty wakes her husband gently and says she thinks he should get the midwife. Seeing his frightened face, she tells Levin she is fine and is not in the least scared about what is to come. Levin has to go but is having trouble looking away from her eyes. He thought he loved her face and knew her every expression; but he has never seen Kitty like this. She is radiant with joy and full of courage.

As everything about her is now stripped away, Levin sees nothing but the soul of the woman he loves. Suddenly she clutches his hand and presses close to him; she is in pain and for a moment all he can think of is that he caused this and should be punished for causing Kitty such pain. She...

(The entire section is 554 words.)