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 Part II - Pages 117-236

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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Part II - Pages 117-236   Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:11 pm

Discussion Questions for Part Two, Pages 117–236

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?


Kitty is like every other whimpy female of their time. They make themselves sick from despair and rejection. I don't really like that trait in that era. I don't even think I could make myself ill if I tried. I think their term is "delicate." I do love the book though, after I accept the whimpy ways of the women back then.

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?

The Shcherbatsky sisters are very fortunate. They have dear friends in their adult lives. They embrace themselves in their society and apparently are very close. With most of the marriages back then, the women really needed to have "intimate" relationships and the sisters have that. As we have seen in some of the other books that we have read, the women go nutso when they don't have friends to bond with.

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?

Anna's friendship with Princess Betsy is very selfish. Anna wants to have someone who "understands" her situation. Anna had three sets of friends and chose the trashy ones. When I first read about Betsy, I saw that she would be close to Anna. They are each others "intimate" friend.

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?

I think that it is wonderful. If a man has found love in a married woman, he is happier inside than most men who have beautiful women and don't love them. I guess the author believes that having love is better than marrying and not having it.

Think about the author's story. He never found "love." I am almost sure that this was said in the intro of the book.


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?"

I don't really think that Tolstoy brought out a lot of love moments with them. First they were flirting and then they were "lovers." With the writing today, I wasn't sure if they consumated the relationship or not until she found out she was pregnany. Their courtship seemed so distant. They talked at parties and exchanged looks. I would not call it love, but the author is a male and lived in the time that it was written, so his insight of courtship could be very different.

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?

I think Anna only feels guilty when she thinks of her son. The implications of her son finding out about the affair would crush him. Otherwise, she does not care what society thinks of her. Not having a conscience like that tells me that she is not too guilty.

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.

Stiva is the businessman, who cares what people think. Levin is the kind of man who would marry for love and not what society thinks of him or his situation. His way of life is not looked upon with much admiration. Most people think that he needs to have a respectable career and he's just happy existing around his farm and enjoying life.

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?

Vronsky is worthy of being her lover because he is willing to give up gossip and any real chance for happiness with a family. At this point the chapter ends with him at the steeple chase. We don't see how it all turns out with Anna's pregnancy. Anna on the other hand is not willing to give up her child at this point.

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?

Major differences. Marriages are arranged or at least approved by the parents. The woman in the relationship has no life except to attend social functions and stand by her "man." Now adays a woman can exist by herslef and there is a more 50/50 relationship if the woman wants it.

10. When Kitty tells Varenka at the end of Part Two that she will never marry, do you believe her?


I do not believe her because she is easily swayed. She took to Varenka and her little world and also turned away from it. Her little statement of never marrying is a dramatic statement.



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Kelley
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PostSubject: Re: Part II - Pages 117-236   Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:52 am

Section 2: Chapters 1-17:

The development of relationships and emotions happens in these chapters. Anna and Vronsky begin thier affair, and Anna is ashamed with herself. Alexei realizes that something is going on and tries to approach Anna, but makes it clear that he cares more about what other people see, than where her heart lies.

Levin and Kitty are grieving their respective refusals. Levin finding out about Kitty gives him and us hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Part II - Pages 117-236   Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:14 am

Section 2: Chapters 18-35:

The novel is beginning to speed up, the love affair of Vronsky and Anna is building (especially with the news of the pregnancy and the confession). Levin again has hope for his future with Kitty (maybe the new spring analogy). And Kitty's self reflection is deepening her character.

SparkNotes pointed out that the horse race was an analogy to Anna and Vronsky's relationship, the hurdles, the public spectacle, and the eventual fall.
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PostSubject: Re: Part II - Pages 117-236   Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:29 am

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?
I didn't think that Kitty was ill in any way, just embaressed that she had been jilted so publicly by Vronsky and mad at herself for letting Levin go. I found it odd that her family (other than her father) was so blind to this, and allowed for a physician to see her (inappropriately) and to take her to a spa.
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?
I thought that the interaction between Dolly and Kitty was a normal sister interaction. They know each others hearts, and sensitive spots. They end the interaction with out discussing the problems at hand, which rebuilds their bond, and helps them in that 'sister way.'
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?
It is hard to see much of thier friendship now other than that of convienence. Anna likes that Betsy doesn't judge her, and that she encourages her to see Vronsky. Betsy regularly presents situations so that the relationship may blossom. Betsy, who is having her own affair, likes to have a coconspirator that doesn't judge her in return.
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?
I think that this statement has two purposes. The first to point out the difference in how society views/will treat Anna and Vronsky as the affair becomes public, the good ol' double standard. The second is to poke a bit of fun/illuminate Vronsky's view of himself threw society's eyes, and maybe a motive for his attachment.
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?"
Interestingly, Tolstoy chooses not to give many details about thier life together. Usually we only see bits and pieces of conversations that happen in the public eye, or the inner thougts of the two. In most cases the couple is very formal, in order not to be inappropriate. The relationship almost seems to be one of fantasy. Each views the other as "the greener grass, that they can't completely have," and are unhappy with what is in front of them. Maybe they are both in love with the idea of being in love, especially the forbidden love...we will have to see.
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?
I think that Anna feels guilty regarding her son and the sequela he will have to face because of her actions. I don't think that she feels guilty in society or to her husband.

I will come back to 7-9...

10. When Kitty tells Varenka at the end of Part Two that she will never marry, do you believe her?
I can't, I with Levin, and remain hopeful that they will reunite. But even it is not Levin, I believe that as Kitty grows she will find happiness and love.
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Karen

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PostSubject: Re: Part II - Pages 117-236   Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:31 pm

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?
I think Kitty was just suffering from depression. she had been led to believe by Vrnsky that he did care for her, thus her decision not to marry levin. She was hurt and embarrassed that Vronsky threw her over, and so quickly, for a married woman, Anna. I thought the piece about the doctor examining her naked was pretty amazing. And I was really surprised her parents would go along with itI. wonder if that was something of the 'rage' when Tolstoy wrote this?
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?
I agree. It seemed lie a normal 'sister'type reaction, having two sisters, myself.brother Their interaction paralleled to a degree, Levins compassionaate visit to Nicoli.
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?
This wa a classic case of two people who are friends out of convenience. they both benifited by being one anothers friend. It would be a friendship that one could easily overthrow when times changed because there is nothing of real value to it.
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? 's
I thought it was a statement reflecting the idea's of the authors time for the well to do. they seemed to find so little to entertain themselves with. this could amost be considered a spectator sport from the perspective of all the dinner companions. I did not like the statement or the value it represents. there was a comment somewhere about the only two types of women, that really rubbed me wrong as well.
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?"
Both were swept up in a deep physical attration for one another. I thnk anna never loved her husband and was not attracted to him. she didn't know what it was like to be suddenly very atraced to a man until she met Vronsky. he, on the other hand had been atracted to a variety of women. It sounds like he led a playboy lifestyle in peterberg with his buddies. He was most attracted to the case.
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?
i thought she did feel guilty. maybe it was more shme than guilt. proper married women shouldn't be sleeping with other men! i don't think she she had any particular feeling about wronging her husband.
10. When Kitty tells Varenka at the end of Part Two that she will never marry, do you believe her?
No. that was her mood at the time. I felt she believed it when she said it, maybe to punish herlef for turning down Levin when, in her heart she had felt true affection for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Part II - Pages 117-236   Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:40 pm

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.
Levin is a country man. Happy with his farm and the animals and growing things. He is a much simpler man than Stiva. Levins morals are higher. he is not interested in casual relationships with other women and would value a wife and be faithful. levin doesn't seem to have the power to make people do as he wishes. On his farm, his help dess what they please and he doesn't force the issue even though he has good idea's on how to improve the land. Stiva seems to be a good business man.
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?

Is Vronsky worthy of being Anna's lover? Yes he is dashing and exciting especially compared to karenin, but ....
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?

yes, marriages were mostly arranged. Men in high society could do just about anything they please. No one seemed to have a real job. A lot of time is spent eating an in leisure activity. Gossip was the order of the day. sometimes noteriety, ie. having an affair, elevated your status in society.
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PostSubject: Re: Part II - Pages 117-236   Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:19 pm

It is really enjoyable to read you imput girls, and compare our views of the characters.
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