Part 3 section 29: Levin finds it hard to implement his new idea that all would be shareholders in the farming, because everyone is so busy with their duties and some do not trust him. Things eventually start going his way though, even though there are a few problems. This new project takes up all of Levin's time and thoughts.
Part 3 section 30: Levin thinks that everything is going well on his estate and that he needs to go abroad to study more on the subject of what he is doing on his farm with the peasants. He makes preparations to go.
Part 3 section 31: A guest arrives, and Levin hopes that it is not his brother Nicholas, but it is. To be with his brother torments him, and he can see that Nicholas is thinner and weaker than before, and he feels pity for him. Nicholas tells Levin that he got rid of Mary because she treated him like an invalid. Both Levin and Nicholas can only think of Nicholas' impending death, but neither can talk about it, so they try to talk about other things and sound false. That night Levin can hear his brother tossing and coughing. Levin realizes that everything ends in death and that everything he has been trying to do is useless.
Part 3 section 32: The next morning Nicholas is irritable, and finds fault with all of Levin's plans, saying they are communist. Levin thinks that he wants a balance between the present situation and communism. They argue about Levin's plans and his motives, and Nicholas says that he is sorry he came and will leave. Levin asks his forgiveness, but Nicholas leaves, asking Levin not to think badly of him. Three days later Levin leaves for abroad, his mind on death, thinking that it is his time to die.
Part 4 section 1: The Karenins live as they had before, so that society and their servants cannot talk about them. Vronsky never comes to the house, but he and Anna meet elsewhere. Vronsky has to act as guide to a foreign prince who wants to see Russian life, especially the nightlife and women. Vronsky sees much of himself in the Prince, and is happy to part with him when he leaves.
Part 4 section 2: When he returns home from taking leave of the Prince, there is a note from Anna saying that Karenin is going out for the evening and she wants him to come there. He falls asleep, has a strange dream about a peasant speaking French and wakes up to see that he is late. He rushes to Anna's and runs face to face with Karenin at the doorway. Karenin bows to him and continues on his way out. Vronsky goes to Anna who is in anguish because things cannot go on as they have been.
Part 4 section 3: Vronsky tells Anna that he ran into Karenin. She has been acting more jealous about Vronsky lately, and asks him about all of his activities with the Prince and the women they visited. He tells her that he is done with that kind of life. He is horrified by all of her jealousy lately, and he thinks how she has changed both physically and morally since he met her. They talk again about Karenin, and Vronsky says that he does not understand his behavior and would have thought he would have challenged him. Anna tells Vronsky that their situation will come to an end, but not how he thinks. She says that she will die during the delivery of their baby. Vronsky says that she is speaking rubbish. Anna says that she has had a dream about a peasant speaking French and interprets his words to mean that she will die in childbirth. Vronsky says it is nonsense, but he remembers his own dream.
Part 4 section 4: After he runs into Vronsky, Karenin continues on to the Opera as planned. He returns home angry at his wife for not observing the rules of propriety and ignoring his wish that she not meet Vronsky at their house. He thinks again about divorce, and thinks that he must get proof of her infidelity. Anna is surprised by his appearance when he enters her bedroom. He rushes to her writing table and finds a letter-case full of Vronsky's letters. He tells her to sit down and expresses his anger, and she gets mad at him for how he is talking to her. He tells her that he is going to put an end to the situation and that he is going to Moscow to get a divorce. He says that their son will stay with his sister, and she accuses him of only taking him to hurt her.
Part 4 section 5: Karenin explains his situation to the lawyer in Moscow and asks him about the divorce laws. He says that in the case of adultery there can be detection of the guilty party by mutual consent or involuntary detection without such consent. Karenin cannot consent to the mutual consent as he has religious qualms against it. The lawyer explains that the letters are not enough for the involuntary detection, and that there must be physical witnesses. Karenin says that he will write to him about his decision.
Part 4 section 6: Karenin had had a victory in the Committee before, but then his opponent, Stremov, pretended to be on his side and made some outlandish changes to the plan in Karenin's name, and now his victory has undermined his power. Karenin asks to go himself to the Province being talked about. On his way he stops in Moscow and runs into Oblonsky and Dolly. They are hurt that he did not tell them he was coming to Moscow, and they invite him to dinner.
Part 4 section 7: The next day Oblonsky goes to the Hotel to see Levin, who has just returned from abroad, his new supervisor and Karenin. He is planning a dinner with some of Moscow's intellectuals. Kitty and Levin's brother will be there, and he wants to invite Levin and Karenin. Oblonsky sees Levin, talks to him about his work in the country and invites him to dinner. Levin wants to ask if Kitty will be there, but he does not, and says he will come. Oblonsky then has a successful visit with his new supervisor and goes to see Karenin.
Part 4 section 8: Karenin returns to the Hotel from church and writes a letter to the lawyer telling him to go ahead and get the evidence he needs to continue with the divorce. Oblonsky arrives, and Karenin tells him that he cannot come to dinner since he has started divorce proceedings against his sister. Oblonsky acts dismayed and asks Karenin to at least talk to Dolly before he continues with it. Karenin says he will come to dinner.