Anna Karenina Part 2 Ch. 3 Essay, Research Paper
Part 2 Ch. 3
In part two chapter three, Kitty?s broken heart causes her health to decline. There is a moment in this part of the story that Tolstoy adds to show that money and social status should not be the reasons for marriage. Kitty realizes this when she finds out about Anna and Vronsky. Kitty has something that sets her apart from the other women in her family, pride. Her pride makes her different from her sisters and her mother in that she does not want to marry someone that she does not love and vice versa. What she says tells the reader that she will not put up with adultery. This particular moment occurs between Kitty and her sister Dolly while they are having a conversation about what is making her ill and how she should be cured. The moment begins when Darya Alexandrovna brings up Levin?s name,
?The mention of Levin?s name seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige
of self-control. She leaped up from her chair, and flinging her clasp
on the ground, she gesticulated rapidly with her hands and said: ?why
bring Levin in too? I can?t understand what you want to torment me for.
I?ve told you, and I say it again, that I have some pride, and never, NEVER
would I do as you?re doing – go back to a man who?s deceived you, who
has cared for another woman. I can?t understand it! You may, but I can?t!?
When Kitty says this she hurts her sister, but Dolly probably understands and agrees with what her sister is saying.
In this scene she speaks of having pride and says that she could never go back to someone who has betrayed her. This shows that she is destined to be different than the rest of the women in her family and society also. She sees what her sister is going through with her cheating husband and the humiliation that she must suffer because of him. When she says ?I have some pride,? she is telling her sister that she will not put herself in the position to have to endure the humiliation that she has. This makes Kitty a stronger person than most characters in the book. She knows whom she should marry according to society and her mother, but she will not go through with it if it means living like Dolly.
This is also the moment at which she realizes that she has made a colossal mistake in turning down Levin?s marriage proposal. The last thing she needed to be reminded of in this instant was that she has turned away from someone who loves her beyond words and who is also someone that she cared deeply about. We know she cannot bear the thought of this when Tolstoy says, ?The mention of Levin?s name seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige of self-control.? She probably feels that Levin may not want her anymore and that her chance of happiness has been lost because of her misjudgment of Vronsky?s character. Little does she know that because of her pride she will have a happy, adultery-free marriage in the end.
One may see this minor moment as merely a poor young girl trying to overcome a broken heart, but it has much more meaning than that. This is a moment in which the youngest of three sisters refuses to lead her life as the women of her family in the past have. Their way of life is to marry whomever your parents and society sees fit, regardless of the absence of love. Kitty has feelings for both Vronsky and Levin and at first chooses Vronsky because of reasons that were instilled in her by the women in her society. She knows that Levin genuinely loves her and it breaks her heart to break his heart but she feels it is her ?duty? to marry someone like Vronsky. In Part one chapter 15, after she has refused Levin?s proposal, she contents herself only by thinking of Vronsky, ?She vividly pictured to herself that strong manly face, that well-bred calm and the kindness toward everybody he always showed.? Kitty doesn?t realize at this point that Vronsky?s public persona is what she loves and not the real person that he is. He?s the man that deceived her into thinking that he was interested in marrying her and who will eventually get a married woman pregnant.
In conclusion, this minor moment in part two chapter three has a significant meaning to the story because Kitty is the only one who challenges society and the way that marriages should be arranged. She falls in love with Vronsky not really knowing who he is and what he is about. She refuses to give him or anyone for that matter, a second chance because she will not be humiliated in the way that so many women in her society have. Pride in her case turns out to be a good thing because she demands more out of a marriage than simply financial security and a man with high social status. She wants a marriage in which love is the most important thing that holds them together, not the fact that they have three children and society expects them to remain married because that is what?s proper. Her values make her different from her sisters and mother and are what lead her to a happy marriage and life with Levin.