Dolly (Darya Alexandrovna), the Wife of Stiva, Reflects

Anna Karenina, p. 555:

“And in general,” thought Darya Alexandrovna, having surveyed her entire life in these fifteen years of marriage, “the pregnancy, the nausea, the dullness of mind, the indifference to everything, and above all, the ugliness. Kitty, youthful, pretty Kitty, even she has lost her looks, and me, when I’m pregnant, I become ugly, I know. The birth, the sufferings, the outrageous sufferings, the final minute . . . then the feeding, those sleepless nights, those terrible pains . . . “

Darya Alexandrovna shuddered at the mere memory of the pain of cracked nipples, which she had suffered with nearly every child. “Then the children’s illnesses, the perpetual fear, then their upbringing, their vile tendencies (she recalled little Masha’s crime in the raspberries), the lessons, the Latin — it’s all so mysterious and difficult.

Self really feels for Dolly. An argument with Stiva about his infidelity is the opening scene of this novel. The two have been married nine years and have five (or is it six?) children. And now, over 500 pages later, she is still his wife, and he is still having affairs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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