Chapter 2: The beginning of everything
When Dolly had agreed to forgive Stiva’s mistakes, her sister-Kitty, who was both loved by Levin and Vronsky, came over to her house.Although Kitty had never officially(1) met Anna before, she knew at once(2) that Anna belonged to high-class society. She hoped that Anna wouldn’t consider that she was an old-fashioned(3) woman. To her surprise, Anna appeared to be a friendly person and in the blink of an eye(4), they got on very well with each other(5). Just as Kitty was about to leave, she suggested that Anna should go to next week’s ball with her. Anna was extremely thrilled and she accepted the request promptly(6).They chatted for a while then Kitty left.That night, the Oblonskys’ dinner was very joyous(7).Dolly also called her husband’Stiva’which made Stiva happy.In addition, he also appreciated Anna because of her persuasive talk to his wife.
On the next day, Levin came to Kitty’s house to propose(8) to her. Nevertheless, his plan didn’t work out.When he came in and said that he loved her and wanted her to be his wife,Kitty seemed to disapprove of his proposal.Actually, it was not because she didn’t like Levin, but she had thought of Levin as an elder brother rather than a husband.After all,she answered:”My dear Levin,please forgive me.I can’t accept your proposal”.As for Levin,although he was down in the dumps(9) to hear his lover say this, exlaimed:”I can understand that!”.Levin was leaving when he saw a man came in.At a first glance, he knew that the man was Count Vronsky.As he observed closely, Kitty greeted Vronsky cheerfully and brightly, not like the way she did towards him. Depressedly, he slowly walked home.
At last the grand ball which everyone had been waiting for was held.It was Kitty and her mother’s late arrival that made everyone look at them curiously. Kitty showed her good taste in fashion when she chose a stunning black dress that fitted her body perfectly.Therefore, there was no doubt that people were really envious of her beauty. Kitty drew near(10) where the most prominent(11) people such as Anna,her sister Dolly and her fiancé-Vronsky were standing together.Anna certainly looked like a million dollars(12) in a mysterious,black,velvet dress.
And then the first dance came.Vronsky asked Kitty to dance but they didn’t talk much.However, Kitty wasn’t anxious at all.She was sure that Vronsky would ask her to dance the most important dance of the evening, the mazurka(13). In addition, he would propose to her while they were dancing the mazurka,too.After the first dance, Kitty had to dance with the other men,which was a rule of the ball.The thing was,while this section was happening, she happened to see Anna and Vronsky dancing together.This made Kitty feel a little bit distressed(13) because they were very fond of each other.Every time Vronsky talked to Anna, her bright face filled with joy as well as brightness.And the worst thing was, the similar expressions appeared on her fiancé’s face…Kitty vainly(14) hoped that the time could fly as fast as possible as she would like to know if Vronsky would ask her to dance the mazurka or not.And the answer was no,which made poor Kitty very dissapointed though she might have guessed this before. Kitty was asked to dance by a family friend,Korunsky while the man she was in love with asked Anna.During the mazurka,Kitty could see that the two even looked like a couple.Kitty was heartbroken.Later,Anna and Kitty happened to dance next to each other.Anna,who didn’t know that Kitty had seen everything, reached out her hand to Kitty to say hi.And Kitty didn’t react at all!Anna now could see a look of despair(15) and anger in Kitty’s face.
After the dance,Anna said to Vronsky that she must leave now to prepare for her trip the next day.Vronsky felt a bit sad when he heard Anna’s announcement.The next day,she told Dolly that she must leave and that she had ruined Kitty and Vronsky’s love,but she thought that it was not her fault afterall,or maybe just a bit.Dolly thought that this sounded exactly like her husband,however, she didn’t dislike Anna at all.She always loved her like a dearest friend. And Anna left.As she was sitting on the train to St.Petersburg, she told herself that it was just like a dream and soon, she would forget all and come back to her normal life with her husband and son.
When the trained was coming towards its destination, St.Petersburg, Anna realized that Vronsky was also on the train with her.She asked if he had any bussiness to do there and his answer made her had mixed emotions. She felt both joy and fear:”I have come to be where you are.
Anna answered that he should not have said that and she begged that he would forget everything happened at the ball.Then the train finally arrived.Her husband had been waiting for her. Anna’s husband was very cold and Anna even thought that he didn’t have any feeling for her.Hence, the feeling of disatisfaction familiar to Anna arose after she saw her husband.
Vronsky,too,stepped out of the carriage.This was the first time he faced up with the fact that Anna had belonged to another man.They talked for a while and both Karenin-Anna’s husband and Vronsky disliked each other.
In St.Petersburg, Anna took part in many rich parties with the rich and powerful in Russian society.Count Vronsky’s family was very well-known for their wealth,so Vronsky also attended many of the same events as Anna. Anna tried to forget Vronsky, but she was always excited and eager every time they met. Soon, she learned to accept the truth that now Vronsky was the one whom she was attracted to. After that, they became good friends.When Karenin was too busy to go to the parties with his wife, Vronsky would take over his place.In this way, Anna and Vronsky became lovers.This was soon noticed by the people in high-class society. Karenin also knew this.He was very worried about what the others might think about him.Moreover, he was not a risky man.Thus, he chose to keep quiet and deal with the problem privately.
4/in the blink of an eye(idm):[literally]
5/get on very well with sb(exp)=be on good term(s) with sb
8/propose(v): offer sbd one’s hand in marriage
9/down in the dumps(idm):very depressed
12/sb look like a million dollars(idm):sb very beautiful,wearing expensive clothes
13/mazurka(n):A Polish dance resembling the polka, usually in 3/4 or 3/8 time with the second beat heavily accented, andfrequently adopted as a ballet form.