Anna Karenina Part I chapter 18
Let’s do a little character comparison, shall we?
In chapter eighteen we meet two women.
First there is a beautiful lady. She has a “charming face”, “gray eyes, that looked dark from the thick lashes”, and a “faint smile that curved her red lips.”
Vronsky notices this all in passing. Then we meet the next woman. She is a “dried-up old lady with black eyes and ringlets“. She smiles “slightly with her thin lips.”
The first woman is Anna Karenina. The second is Vronsky’s mother, Countess Vronskaya.
I found it interesting that both women have been or will be unfaithful to their spouses. In chapter sixteen we learned that the Countess had “during her married life, and still more afterwards, many love affairs notorious in the whole fashionable world.”
What’s Tolstoy trying to tell us?
Beauty and youth are fleeting?
The Countess’s ungraceful aging is the result of her infidelity?
Is this foreshadowing for Anna?
What do you think?