Stiva Oblonski is cheating on his wife Dolly with the female maids.
Kitty Shcherbatskaya is being pursued by landowner Konstantin Levin,
who has come to town specifically for this purpose.
ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW
Anna Karenina has come to Moscow from St. Petersburg
where she intends to mediate between Stiva and Dolly.
Stiva is waiting for Anna on the platform,
while her travelling acquaintance, Countess Vronskaya, is being collected by her son Alexei.
Anna Karenina and Alexei Vronsky are introduced to one another,
and this first sighting remains unforgettable for both.
Levin asks for Kitty’s hand in marriage and she turns him down.
She is infatuated with Vronsky, a
nd is hoping he will propose to her. However,
Vronsky’s only desire is to see Anna Karenina again at the ball.
When Anna appears and Vronsky only has eyes for her,
Kitty’s world falls apart. Anna realises that she is the reason for Kitty’s destroyed hopes and leaves.
TO ST. PETERSBURG
Vronsky follows Anna to St. Petersburg. They become closer during the journey. In St. Petersburg, Anna Karenina is collected by her husband Alexei and their son Seryozha.
IN THE COUNTRY I
After his refused proposal, Levin flees to the solitude of his estate and avoids society.
The salon of Betsy Tverskaya, a friend of Anna’s, is the meeting point of the decadent Petersburg society.
While Dolly and Stiva continue to argue here,
Anna and Vronsky enjoy their reunion. When Karenin turns up to collect his wife,
she refuses to go home with him.
The Karenins are the subject of much discussion
in the salon: A shadow has been cast over Anna’s reputation –Vronsky.
As society becomes more distant,
Anna and Vronsky’s passion for one another can no longer be assuaged.
Vronsky’s love allows Anna to forget the feelings of guilt and shame
about the breakdown of her marriage.
The distinguished society meets at a horse race,
including the Karenins, the Oblonskis,
Betsy and Countess Vronskaya.
The fact that Anna screams
when Vronsky falls with his horse is proof of her unfaithfulness for Karenin and those present.
Karenin demands the
fulfilment of marital obligations from Anna.
IN THE COUNTRY II
Levin takes part in haymaking,
forgets his heartache and finds new meaning in life in the shared work with his farmers.
The transformed Kitty comes to the country,
and she and Levin become closer to one another.
AT THE HOME OF THE KARENINS
After the birth of Vronsky’s daughter, Anna is under threat of death.
This situation causes Karenin to forgive her and his love rival. Vronsky,
who fears that Anna will return to her husband, attempts suicide.
Vronsky is in Italy with Anna.
She has left her old life behind - including Seryozha.
Vronsky has given up his career in the military for her.
They enjoy their abundance of happiness as a pair,
but soon Anna misses her son,
while Vronsky misses life in society. They return to Russia.
Dolly appears to have come to terms with remaining at the side of the notoriously unfaithful Stiva.
Kitty and Levin have come together and marry.
In secret, Anna visits her son Seryozha,
who is now being looked after by the confidante of the Karenins, Lidia Ivanovna.
They both bring the reunion of mother and son to an abrupt end.
Anna and Karenin have a heated discussion,
after which Anna remains alone and shattered.
Anna is devastated.
She now doubts Vronsky’s faithfulness
and tries to numb her pain and jealousy with opium.
While Vronsky is able to continue to take part in public life,
Anna is perceived as an adulteress and is shunned by and cut off from society.
Even her once friend Betsy turns away from her.
Her jealousy and delusions turnobsessive, and she suspects that Princess Sorokina,
who Countess Vronskayahas chosen for her son, is a love rival.
LONELINESS ll/ANNA’S DEATH
All relationships and ties have dissolved for Anna,
and Vronsky is also no longer a reason for her to stop.
She kills herself.