By Marianne Sturman
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Extra resources for Anna Karenina (Cliffs Notes)
Russians call each other by the Christian name and patronymic, rarely by surname. For the sake of clarity, however, English translators use the characters' family names wherever possible. Anna Arkadyevna Karenina High society heroine whose love affair keynotes the novel. Alexey Alexandrovitch Karenin Anna's deceived husband. He is a frigid, lonely man with an influential government position in St. Petersburg. Sergei Alexeyitch Karenin (Seriozha) Anna's son whom she is forced to leave for her lover's sake.
After they honeymoon in Italy, Anna and Vronsky return to Petersburg. Violently affected from seeing her son again, Anna's love for Vronsky becomes more desperate now that she has no one else. Despite his objections, she boldly attends the theater as if to affirm her love before conventional society. Humiliated at the opera, she blames Vronsky for lacking sympathy with her suffering, while he is angry at her indiscretion. This keynotes the decline of their relationship, although it is temporarily restored as they go to live in the country.
Stiva points out that life does not consist of clear-cut principles; its variety, charm, and beauty is made up of "light and shadow" and that Levin is wrong to believe that one's work, one's relationships, one's thoughts must always correspond to a defined aim in life. After dinner, the two friends part. Levin looks forward to his evening at the Shtcherbatskys where his fate will be decided. Commentary Levin enters the novel in a customary outburst of frankness and intense conviction. He tells Stiva he no longer participates in the Zemstvo, derides Oblonsky's bureaucratic job as a sinecure, and mentions Kitty, Immediately we learn of his main impulses: his quest for rural reform, his rejection of town life, and his passion for Kitty.