1. Were you surprised this part began talking about Sergei's book, after the dramatic conclusion of Part Seven? Talk about why you think the author made this choice.
2. Do you agree that even the death Anna chose was "mean and low?" (p. 778) What were your initial thoughts about how Vronsky's mother says he reacted to it? Did anything he says to Sergei change your opinion?
3. Vronsky says, "As a man, I am good in that life has no value for me." (p. 780) Do you believe this statement from him? Do you feel life ever held value for him—even while Anna and he were happy?
4. Talk about Levin's return to his land and his struggles to find meaning in his life. Was this something you could relate to? If so, in what ways?
5. How do you feel about the fact that Dolly and her children are now also in Levin's charge? How does Dolly's example as a mother affect Kitty and Levin's choices as parents?
6. As the book closes, war looms. Trace the ways each male character seems to use this impending crisis, and the new responsibilities he has in the face of it, to his advantage.
7. In the end, how do you feel about Levin's relationship with Kitty? Are they a happily married couple? Thinking back on the passage that opens the novel, would you think they are an example of a happy or unhappy family?
8. What do you think about the final passage, where Levin's ultimate life philosophy is revealed?
9. Go back through the book and find your three favorite passages—the ones you remember the most clearly. How did they touch you? How do you feel Tolstoy's writing relates to who you are and how you live?
10. Now that you've experienced each character's journey fully, which character do you feel you identify with most...and why?
More on Anna Karenina...