1. Kitty's illness frames Part Two. What do you notice about it in particular? What do you attribute her decline in health to, and why?
2. The Shcherbatsky sisters spend time together in this portion of the novel. What do you think is interesting about their relationships? How would you assume the way they treat each other is in keeping with their society?
3. Talk about Anna's friendship with Princess Betsy. Why are they fond of each other, and what important roles do you see them playing for each other?
4. In Chapter IV, there is a statement about Vronsky that goes, "the role of a man who attached himself to a married woman and devoted his life to involving her in adultery at all costs, has something beautiful and grand about it..." (p. 128) What do you find interesting or intriguing about this statement? Do you think the author truly believes it—and if not, why does he say it?
5. Spend some time discussing the courtship and interactions between Vronsky and Anna. What do you find to be unique about the way they talk to each other? Do you recognize it as something you would call "love?"
6. Do you get the sense that Anna truly feels guilty about the actions she has taken with Vronsky? If not, why do you think?
7. Stiva and Levin are friends, but they seem to be very different kinds of men. What are the three most obvious ways in which they look at their life from different angles? Find quotes to support your point of view.
8. Vronsky is a Count with a military background—a very dashing figure of manhood. In what ways is he a worthy and appropriate lover for the passionate Anna Karenina? In what ways does he potentially fall short in this role?
9. Society—what it means to be a part of high society or operate successfully in society—is discussed at length in Part Two. What do you feel you have discovered about the way Russian society used to work. How does it seem different from your life today?
10. When Kitty tells Varenka at the end of Part Two that she will never marry, do you believe her?
More on Anna Karenina...