Part 1 section 1: Dolly Oblonsky
has discovered an affair between her husband and their former French governess. She declares that
she will not live with him anymore and has locked herself in her room. Her husband, Prince Stephen
Arkadyevich Oblonsky goes about his normal business for the most part.
Part 1 section 2: Oblonsky does
not feel repentant about his affair, as he is a handsome man who is not in love with his wife and the
mother of their five living and two dead children. He feels that she really has no right to be
carrying on like this. He receives a note saying that his sister, Anna Arkadyevna, is coming for
a visit, and he hopes that she will be able to patch things up between he and his wife. He has
the valet go and tell his wife that Anna is coming, but she sends down word that she will be going away.
The children's nurse encourages Oblonsky to go and talk to Dolly again.
Part 1 section 3: Oblonsky goes
into the dining room to have his coffee and read his letters from the office. He thinks about
how the sale of a forest on his wife's estate must wait until they are reconciled. He reads the
paper and agrees with much of it, because his opinions are the opinions of the majority, and he changes
his opinions when the majority changes theirs. After talking to his daughter and taking care of
some more business, he decides that he must go and talk to his wife.
Part 1 section 4: Dolly is trying
to pack her children's' clothes so that they can go away, but she is not making any progress.
She keeps saying that she will leave her husband, but she realizes that this is impossible because she
could not get out of the habit of loving him. When she sees him she realizes that he is happy
and contented while she is miserable. He tells her that Anna is coming, and she replies that she
cannot receive her. He asks her to forgive him. When he is gone, Dolly thinks again that
they cannot be reconciled and must leave, but soon the servants come to ask her questions about the
children and the housekeeping, and she resumes her daily tasks.
Part 1 section 5: Oblonsky is
liked by everyone who knows him, and it seems as if half of Moscow and half of Petersburg are either
his relations or friends. Anna's husband, Alexis Alexandrovich Karenin, helped him to obtain his post
as head of one of the Government Boards of Moscow. Oblonsky arrives at his office and works, and
when they break for lunch, Levin, a friend of Oblonsky's, is there to see him. The two have many
differences and disagree on many issues, but they retain their friendship because they have been friends
for so long. Levin tells Oblonsky that he is no longer a member of the Zemstvo (a country government
organization) as he feels that it gets nothing done. Levin asks Oblonsky what the Shcherbatskys
are doing. Oblonsky knows that Levin is in love with Kitty Shcherbatsky, his sister-in-law.
Oblonsky is interrupted with work, and Levin tells him that he does not understand and could not do
his work there. Oblonsky tells him that Kitty will be skating that day, and they decide to meet
later for dinner.
Part 1 section 6: Levin has come
to town to propose to Kitty. He had been a good friend of Dolly's and Kitty's brother before he
died, and has seen the women since they were small. Levin had spent two months in Moscow earlier, and
was near Kitty very much, but he left when he convinced himself that she could not love him. But
after spending two months alone in the country on his farm, he realizes he must come back and try for
Part 1 section 7: Levin is staying
at the house of his half-brother Koznyshev. He goes to talk to him, but a philosophy professor
is there. He sits and listens to their conversation a bit and tries to join, but when his participation
is virtually passed over he stops listening.
Part 1 section 8: The man leaves,
and Levin is able to talk to his brother. He had made up his mind to talk to him about Kitty,
but after the conversation he decides not to. Koznyshev asks him about the Zemstvo, and Levin
tells him that he is no longer a member. Koznyshev tells him that their brother Nicholas is in
Moscow, and then is sorry he did because it upsets Levin. Nicholas is a ruined man who squandered
his fortune and mixed with bad society. He shows Levin a letter he had received from him.
It says: "I humbly beg you to leave me alone. That is all I demand of my dear brothers.-Nicholas
Levin" (26). Levin decides to go and visit his brother as soon as he settles things with Kitty.
Part 1 section 9: Levin goes to
the skating rink to see Kitty, and cannot stay calm once he sees her. He goes up and talks to
her cousin, and she soon skates up. He tells her that she is a good skater, and she replies that
he is the best, and that they should skate together. Levin is quite excited and goes to rent some skates.
They skate together, and when Kitty asks how long he will be in Moscow, he replies that it depends on
her, and she gets uncomfortable. She realizes that she has great feelings for Levin, but that
he is not the man she loves.
Part 1 section 10: Levin goes
to dinner with Oblonsky and is uncomfortable in the restaurant with its private rooms, fancy food and
extravagance. They talk about why Levin is in Moscow, and Oblonsky says that there is nothing
he would like better than for him to marry Kitty. Levin tells Oblonsky that he feels bad about
the sins with women in his past.
Part 1 section 11: Oblonsky tells
Levin that there is a rival for Kitty, an officer named Vronsky. He says that he had arrived soon
after Levin left before and is in love with Kitty. Levin turns pale, and Oblonsky advises him
to ask Kitty to marry him soon. Oblonsky tries to talk to Levin about his affairs, but Levin says
that he could not comprehend being fascinated by a woman other than his wife.
Part 1 section 12: This is Kitty's
first season out, and she has had good success in Society, with first Levin and then Vronsky paying
her attentions. Her father wishes her to marry Levin, but her mother thinks that Vronsky is the