Part 7, Chapter 9 Summary
The porter calls loudly for Stepan Arkadyevitch’s carriage and soon he and Levin are on their way to visit Anna Karenina. Soon after driving away from the clubhouse, Levin’s mood of repose and comfort dissipates and he is aware of the jarringly bumpy roads beneath them and the raucous sounds on the streets outside the carriage. Now Levin begins to wonder if this was a prudent thing to do and what Kitty will say.
As if sensing his doubts, Stepan Arkadyevitch addresses them. He reminds Levin that Dolly has wanted him to meet Anna Karenina for a long time, Lvov has been to see her, and he knows Levin will find her a remarkable woman. Her position is quite painful now, especially, as she is in the midst of negotiating a divorce from her husband. Alexey Alexandrovitch has agreed to the divorce, but there are complications regarding the son and the matter has remained unresolved for three months. As soon as the divorce is granted, she and Vronsky will marry and their position in society will be the same as anyone else’s.
For the past three months, Anna Karenina has been a virtual prisoner in her home. She goes nowhere and sees no woman except Dolly. Even Princess Varvara has deserted her, considering it an impropriety to spend time with her in Moscow. Any other woman would be crushed by such circumstances, but Anna Karenina remains calm and dignified.
Levin assumes Anna Karenina is spending her time caring for her daughter, but Stepan Arkadyevitch says that is an old-fashioned way to look at a woman—as a brood hen looking after her chicks. While the child is being brought up well, no one talks much about her. She is busy writing a children’s book which Stepan Arkadyevitch has taken to a publisher who said it is a “remarkable piece of work.” She is also looking after an entire family and a little English girl. Vronsky had a trainer who was a drunkard and allowed his family to lose everything; when they were cast out on the street, Anna Karenina became a kind of...
(The entire section is 546 words.)