The Lady With the Pet Dog, written by Anton Chekhov, is a
passionate love story portraying betrayal at its greatest . The story
presents a deceiving nature that perfectly depicts real life in most of
society today. The title gives the impression that this story is just a
simple-minded one, but in reality it truly recognizes the mysteries
that develop right under our noses. This story is about the
confusing and unexpected forbidden love that evolves between two
Anton Chekhov writes The Lady With the Pet Dog in third
person, mainly focusing on the character Dmitry Gurov and his
thoughts regarding his romantic liaison with Anna Sergeyevna.
Chekhov sets in the readers mind the nonchalant, arrogant attitude
Dmitry feels towards Anna right in the beginning of the story. In his
appearance, in his character, in his whole make-up there was
something attractive and elusive that disposed women in his favor
and allured them (par. 5). Chekhov even goes as far as saying that
Dmitry thought of women as the inferior race (par. 4). The
authors bluntness in displaying Dmitrys arrogant character sets
the story. Dmitry finds it utterly surprising that he falls in love with
what he thought was just another one of his many mistresses.
Antons theme of forbidden, yet undeniable love is present
throughout the story as the two characters realize their
unhappiness without one another. Although both were married,
they made sacrifices to find time together and to enjoy their love for
each other. Chekhovs forbidden theme is portrayed when both
people realize that their parting is necessary. Anna replies We are
parting forever – it has to be, for we ought never to have met
(par.57). But their undeniable love is also portrayed as Dmitry flies
to Annas hometown to see her and she replies, All this time I have
been thinking of nothing but you; I love only by the thought of you
The setting that Anton Chekhov chooses for this story is Yalta.
It is located in Europe and noted that it is a far away place from
Annas husband. This isolated location gives the readers a perfect
view for the setting of the couples romantic liaison. The mention of
her dog at first reveals to the readers that she is just an ordinary
woman, but later comes into play as a mask or identity to hide
behind as she frolics with her new found love. The dog caught the
site of Dmitry and in turn brought him and Anna to meet for the first
time. He beckoned invitingly to the Pomeranian….The lady glanced
Anton Chekhov is not against this betrayal Dmitry and Anna
are involved with. He illustrates this by allowing them to eventually
end up together, and leaves them discussing how they will go about
confessing their love. They talked of how to avoid the necessity for
secrecy, for deception, for living in different cities, and not
seeing each other for long periods of time (par. 120). He portrays
the unhappiness that is felt by Anna in her marriage and also
portrays Dmitrys unhappiness as well. Dmitry referred to his wife
as having limited intelligence (par. 4) and Anna referred to her
husband as flunkey (par. 36). Chekhov combines this
unhappiness into a this forbidden and unexpected love.
Dmitry is the one true dynamic character of the story. In the
beginning of the story Chekhov portrays him as an arrogant man
that consistently cheats on his wife. Even at the beginning of his
affair with Anna he discards any real feelings he could have for her.
He imagines that the image of Anna Sergeyevna… would become
misty in his memory (par.63), but in reality everything that
surrounds him reminds him of her. This remembrance and
realization of his love for her is so strong that it drives him to be by
her side. Chekhov captures Dmitrys dynamic character change
vividly and evolves him into a loving and compassionate man.
The Lady With the Pet Dog is written with extreme lust and
passion. And it is not far fetched from the realities of today.
Adultery, although horrible as it seems, is in actuality a reality
among married couples. Chekhov captures this forbidden love in a
positive way, showing the escape these two characters are aching
for. Chekhov doesnt reveal to the readers the spouses feelings,
for that would bring a negative drama to the story. This is a love
and Chekhov wanted to show his readers that true love is
everywhere, even in the most deniable places.
Chekhov, Anton. The Lady With the Pet Dog.