1. What did you think when you learned Levin was a writer? Discuss the similarities between his character and what you know of Tolstoy.
2. When Levin and Anna finally meet, what did you think of their interaction? Is it as you expected it might be, or different? How do you feel about the fact that Levin pities Anna?
3. Talk about the way that Levin's life seems to lose purpose when he goes to Moscow. How does this relate to his happiness at other times? What messages does the author seem to be sending about city life?
4. Discuss Levin's fascination with Kitty's process of childbirth. Does this seem like a normal reaction to you?
5. Stiva's financial circumstances worsen as the novel progresses. How do you feel his choices with money mirror his other choices or his morality?
6. What do you think about the fact that Seryozha has grown to consider his memories of his mother "shameful?" What impact do you expect this has on Karenin and Anna?
7. At the beginning of Chapter XXIII, Tolstoy writes: "In order to undertake anything in family life, it is necessary that there be either complete discord between the spouses or loving harmony." (p. 739) Do you agree?
8. Talk about Anna's extreme jealousy. Do you feel it is founded, or is it a reflection of other things going on in her life?
9. Discuss, with as much candor as possible, your feelings about Anna's death. Talk about her reasons for doing it, her choices surrounding it, and what you expect the reaction to her death to be.
10. Think about the way Tolstoy framed Anna's death, and the actual passage in which she dies. What strikes you about them?
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