Stage 2(Apprentice): Anna Karenina, chapter 1

Author: Leo Tolstoy

Retold by Carolina

Chapter 1: A cheerless marriage

It was indeed a horrible day when Dolly found out that her beloved husband-Stiva was having an affair with the children’s governess. They didn’t talk to each other in the next few days. Dolly was extremely devastated(1).”If it were the first time, I would easily forgive him. But it isn’t. What should I do? Should I apply for a divorce? ”Dolly thought about the sadness that she was enduring(2) and thought that a divorce was the only thing that would help.  Prince Oblonsky, or Stiva as his friends called him was a very charming and handsome man. Although he had five children with Dolly, he was still attracted by stunning(3), young women. He knew his weakness and eagerly(4) wanted to fix it so that he would be no longer be a worrisome(5) husband. Nevertheless(6), he had to face the truth that he didn’t love Dolly anymore. She was not as young and attractive as she was before. Three days after the quarrel(7), Stiva was about to leave for work when his servant brought him a telegram. For the first time in several days, a cheerful smile appeared on his face. His older sister, Anna would arrive that morning in Moscow, accepting Stiva’s request to help him solve the problem. She said that Stiva should be at the train station to take her home with him.

Stiva dressed and ran downstairs so as to announce the wonderful news with Dolly.”Anna is coming today.” said Stiva, hoping that this would make his wife happy as Anna and Dolly were such close-knit(8) friends.

”Well, I don’t care…All I care now is that whether I should stay here and keep on enduring or leave with the children.” exclaimed Dolly

“Oh please, Dolly. Forgive me one more time…Please, dear.” said Stiva.

tải xuống (1)

“This is enough! I shall leave this house with my children so that you can live merrily with your mistress(9).”

After Dolly said this, she opened the door and left the room, hoping that this time, Stiva would feel sorry and change. As for Stiva, he wasn’t very worried. His sister was on her way there to solve all of his troubles. After drinking a cup of tea, he got up and went to work.

When Stiva was a student, he was intelligent but not hardworking at all. He knew that his father was a wealthy man and later, he would rely(10) on his father’s reputation(11). Stiva grew up and just like he predicted, he got a high-paying job in the courthouse. He went to his office and did little besides looking at his papers and yawning. Later, when Stiva was leaving the room, he came across Levin-a friend that he hadn’t met for a long time. “Hey, Levin! My old friend! It’s so good to see you here in Moscow! What are you doing here?”asked Stiva.

“You know, I love Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky-your wife’s sister and I just can’t wait to meet her so I have returned to Moscow. Would you please tell me what the Shcherbatsky are doing?”replied Levin.

“Yes, of course. They are having a dinner tonight .You will be invited for sure. But now, in the meantime (12), let’s have lunch and talk together?”

So they went to a nearby restaurant.

“As you could see, last time Kitty’s mother didn’t seem to like me. So I was afraid to propose(13) to her and decided to leave Moscow. But I couldn’t stop thinking about her and I’ve decided to ask her to marry me. Do you think she will refuse me?”.Levin suddenly said

“No, I think she loves you, too. Ah, I must tell you something. There’s another man who loves Kitty- an army captain called Count Vronsky. Kitty’s mother is very fond of him. But I’m sure Kitty will choose you .Go to the dinner party as early as you can and propose to her, don’t let Vronsky have any chance to say he loves her.”Stiva answered earnestly(14). Stiva thanked him for the advice and then they parted.

After meeting Levin, Stiva went directly to the railway station. There, he accidentally met Levin’s rival(15)-Count Vronsky, who was waiting to meet his mother. He asked who was Oblonsky waiting for, and Oblonsky replied that was he was waiting for his sister Anna.  “Ah, she is Mr.Karenin’s wife, isn’t she?” Vronsky asked. Stiva said yes. They talked for a while and the conversation was then interrupted by the sound of a coming train.

Count Vronsky got on the train and searched for his mother. Just as he reached the carriage door, he stepped aside for a lady to get out. He knew right away that this was a wealthy woman, belonging to high-class society. He also noticed that her face had a very charming beauty. And, she, too, seemed to be impressed with Vronsky and gave him a curious look, who nodded at her and continued looking for Countess Vronskya. At last, he found his mother. He was talking with his mom when he saw the woman he had seen before come back to the carriage. Countess Vronskya asked her:”So have you found your brother yet?”. Vronsky suddenly knew that this was Anna, Oblonsky’s sister. He said he had just met Anna’s brother, and will look for him, while Anna rest inside the carriage with his mother. Vronsky found  Stiva and led him to the carriage. There, the siblings finally met after a long time. Then, they went home and so did Count Vronsky and his mother. Anna and Stiva discussed about Stiva and Dolly’s problem on the way home. When they arrived, luckily, Dolly hadn’t gone yet. However, she was still sad and hopeless. Although Dolly told Stiva that she didn’t care for Anna, she became more cheerful when she saw her sister-in-law. After all, Anna was her best friend and though she was Stiva’s sister, she hadn’t done anything wrong. So Dolly told Anna all her troubles. When Dolly finished, Anna told her she hoped Stiva was still in love with her. Anna confirmed this by saying that she was Oblonsky’s sister so she could understand him very well. Dolly asked:”But what if this happens again, and if you were me, would you forgive him?”. “Of course yes” exclaimed Anna.



1/devastated(adj): extremely disappointed, hopeless

2/Endured(v bare: endure): to experience and deal with something that is painful or unpleasant, especially without complaining

3/stunning(adj):very charming or very beautiful


5/worrisome(adj):make other people worry

6/Nevertheless: But, However

7/quarrel(n): a disagreement marked by a temporary or permanent break in friendly relations

8/close-knit(adj):very close

9/mistress(n): (female) lover

10/rely(v): depend

11/reputation(n): fame

12/in the meantime(idm):  meanwhile

13/propose(v): to ask someone to marry you

14/earnestly(Adv)-earnest(Adj): sincerely

15/rival(n): a person, company or thing that competes with another in sport, business, etc.

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