Friday, August 14, 2015
Oh the In-laws!
I can't help but laugh while reading Part VI and feeling sorry for Levin. He is so in love with Kitty and they are getting used to each other as a couple when the in-laws show up and show no signs of ever leaving. Poor Levin! His new family includes Dolly and her children who, thanks to Stiva, can't really afford to live on their own. Varenka is visiting, Stiva is using the place as his personal vacation get-away on weekends to hunt and relax. Stiva even shows up with an acquaintance who flirts with Kitty and throws Levin into a horrible jealousy that results in conflict between the newlyweds.
Most important is Kitty's mother who is there to supervise Kitty and restrict her movements, now that she is with child. She insists that the birth take place in Moscow instead of at home in the country and just knows better than anyone about how things should be done. Despite all, Levin does care for his mother-in-law but his favorite is his father-in-law "whom he liked more and more the more he saw of him..." (Section 6, Chapter 6). You can't help but think maybe the most likable part of the old prince was the fact that Levin doesn't see him all that often.
"And I know why, " the princess went on; "he says that young people ought to be left alone for a while at first." (Section 6, Chapter 6).