In Book 6, Tolstoy tries to make use of Anna Karenina’s minor characters to create new themes in the novel. First, in the theme of love, he pairs up Levin’s brother Sergei with Kitty’s old friend Varenka. Second, he uses Veslovsky’s character to show how he affects Levin’s tendencies towards his relationship with Kitty. Veslovsky is perceived in Book 6 as someone who is always trying to ruin the moment for Levin and Kitty. Furthermore, we can also see in Book 6 how Tolstoy compares the personal life of Anna and Dolly. He does this by situating Dolly in the everyday routine of Anna in the city.
In the starting chapters of Book 6, the infatuation of Sergei and Varenka is revealed in the Novel. Sergei is described as someone who is very “intellectual” while Varenka is someone who is “earthly” (Tolstoy, 380). Moreover, Sergei and Varenka are attracted to each other on a high-level meaning to the point that Sergei wanted to propose to her but their expectations are not met when Sergei realizes that he has some issues that are still unsettled (Tolstoy, 384). What triggered this event was his realization that he is still not over with her former fiancée named Marie (Tolstoy, 382). Although Sergei and Varenka are considered as some of the minor characters in the novel, I think that Tolstoy has his reasons for putting the limelight in both characters. For instance, Sergei being an intellectual stands up for his concept of faithfulness. Despite the fact that he is overwhelmingly in love in a way or attracted to Varenka, he gives up this idea because of his for her ex-lover. It also appears that Sergei’s being intellectual does not help in his pursuit for Varenka. This can be seen all throughout his scene with Varenka wherein they can only talk about their physical surroundings like the mushrooms that they were picking out. A possible solution for this problem could be an in-depth talk about their personal life and experiences.
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