Part 7, Chapter 26 Summary
Anna Karenina cannot believe Vronsky saw that her heart was breaking with despair and still walked out with callous coldness and silence. It is clear to her that he hates her because he loves someone else. Since he did not speak, she invents the words she is certain he wanted to say: she can go where she likes, even back to her husband, and if she needs money he will give her whatever she needs. These are the cruelest things a man could say to her, and she cannot forgive him for them, though he actually said nothing to her.
Anna Karenina worries and wonders whether a reconciliation is possible or if she should simply go away now. After expecting Vronsky all day, she leaves directions for the maid and goes to her room. She tells herself that if Vronsky comes to her despite her instructions, he still loves her. If he does not, it is over and she must decide what she is going to do. When he comes home and goes to his own room, she knows it is over for them. Death becomes her only option; he will love her again and she will punish him and gain the victory in this evil battle she is waging with him.
When she pours out her opium that evening, she is nearly giddy at the thought of how easy and satisfying her death would be; however, suddenly she sees shadows all around the room and is terrified of death. She trembles for a long time, finally realizing again that she loves Vronsky and wants to live. To escape her panic, Anna Karenina runs to Vronsky’s room. He is sleeping soundly and she knows if she wakes him there will be coldness in his eyes and there will be another argument. Instead she goes back to her own room and spends the night in a sluggish, opium-induced, and incomplete sleep.
In the morning she is awakened by a horrible nightmare—the same one she had when she was deathly ill in St. Petersburg. An unkempt little man is bending over some iron and muttering meaningless French words, and she feels as if this peasant is doing...
(The entire section is 551 words.)