Anna Karenina (AH-nah kah-REH-nee-nah), Karenin’s beautiful, wayward wife. After meeting the handsome Count Vronsky, she falls completely in love with him, even though she realizes what the consequences of this act of infidelity may be. In spite of love for her child, she cannot give up Vronsky. Estranged from her husband, this unhappy woman, once so generous and respected, has an illegitimate child, runs off with Vronsky, and finally, when his love seems to wane, commits suicide by throwing herself in front of an approaching railway engine.
Count Alexey Kirilich Vronsky
Count Alexey Kirilich Vronsky (ah-lehk-SAY kee-REE-lihch VROHN-skihy), a wealthy army officer who eagerly returns Anna Karenina’s love. He is not a bad man; in fact, he is thoughtful and generous in many ways, as he proved when he gave part of his inheritance to his brother. Yet he thinks nothing of taking Anna away from her husband. Actually, such behavior is part of his code, which approves patronizing his inferiors. After Anna’s death, he becomes a gloomy seeker after death.
Alexei Karenin (ah-lehk-SAY kah-REH-neen), a public official and a cold-blooded, ambitious man whose main desire is to rise in government service. Seemingly incapable of jealousy or love (except self-love), he allows Anna to see Vronsky. He is afraid only that his reputation will be blemished by his wife’s infidelity. In spite of his cold temperament, he is a good official who knows how to cut red tape and bureaucratic inefficiency.
Sergey Alexeyich Karenin
Sergey Alexeyich Karenin (sehr-GAY ah-lehk-SEH-ihch), called Serezha (sehr-EH-zhah), Anna Karenina’s bewildered young son. Recognizing the schism between his father and mother, he is often distraught by what he senses but does not understand.
Konstantine Levin (kohn-stan-TEEN LEE-vihn), a prosperous landowner. A fine, decent man, he intensely dislikes all forms of chicanery and hypocrisy. With his generous spirit and democratic outlook, he wants to help his peasants by giving them larger profits from...
(The entire section is 1040 words.)