Questions for Anna Karenina
2. Reflect upon Karenin's predicament. He can't easily divorce his wife, yet she has moved beyond the pale of his influence. If he were to handle the situation in a morally upstanding way, what would be his best course of action?
3. In Part Four, suddenly a lot of the consequences of infidelity come to light. Why do you think Tolstoy chose to put them into the novel so explicitly? What are his motivations for telling so much of Karenin and Stiva's stories?
4. What do you think of Stiva's final counsel to Karenin on pages 430–432? Analyze ways in which this is similar and different from the counsel Anna gives to Dolly at the beginning of the novel on pages 68–70.
5. We learn more of the things Kitty and Levin seem to have in common during this section. Do you think they make a good couple?
6. How do you feel about the details that surround Kitty and Levin's successful courtship? How is it different from the courtship earlier in the novel?
7. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Anna has a very close bond with her son Seryozha. Talk about what it means for her to leave him in order to be with Vronsky.
8. Discuss the conversation between Vronsky and Karenin on page 414. What do you learn about the two men in the course of it?
9. Think about the interesting, dreamlike passage after the race where Vronsky struggles with sleep on pages 416–17. His "strange, mad whisper" is "unable to value, unable to enjoy; unable to value, unable to enjoy." What do you think this might mean in the larger context of his relationship with Anna or his life?
10. What do you think about Stiva's meeting with Betsy? How has your view of Stiva has changed throughout Part Four? If your view of him hasn't changed, how have his actions confirmed your initial thoughts of him?
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