Love In Anton Chekhov’s The Lady With The Dog

1166 words - 5 pages

Anton Chekov is said be extremely modest about his extraordinary ability to empathize with the characters that he wrote about in his stories. He was careful not stereotype any of the characters he portrayed nor did he over dramatize the story’s plot. The characters emotions and reactions to those emotions were the vehicle for the stories plot. Chekov only desired to write about real people with real feelings which allowed his writings such as “The Lady with the Little Dog”, the seriousness and sympathy it deserves. Chekov emphasized on the man and the woman always being “ the two pole [of every story] (p. 949). Just as there are pulls toward poles of the earth so are the pulls on the characters in his stories; these pulls being forces of life and life circumstance. “The Lady with the Little Dog” demonstrates how reality forces undesired role play between a man and woman in love which is one of the definitive of literary realism established by Professor Agatucci; “[The Lady with the Little Dog] is an example of “A slice of life” such as ordinary people of contemporary times live in society caught up by social forces” (p. 3). The story’s main characters, Anna and Dimitri, their desire to be together are conflicted with the duties they have in common which are husband and wife to two different people. However, the love that Dimitri and Anna share represents the struggle of duties just as the desire for most people in society to want to break from reality.

Dimitri, unlike Anna, was not upset or regretful of their love affair because “he had begun to be unfaithful to [his wife] long ago, was unfaithful often, and, probably for that reason, almost always spoke ill of women, and when they were discussed in his presence, he would say of them: ‘An inferior race!’”(p.144). Dimitri was introduced in the story as taking on an egotistical and selfish role knowing very well that not only was he beyond so many years to Anna but also, “in his tone and caresses, there has been a slight shade of mockery, the somewhat coarse arrogance of a happy man” (p. 149). He seemed to have had his way with Anna and did not want to fall short of this good thing. In contrast, Anna responded in way that she was new to being unfaithful to her husband and maybe even realized that she was not Dimitri’s first mistress. She admits, “ I love an honest man, pure life, sin is vile to me, I myself don’t know what I’m doing”(p. 147). Anna knew right from the first day she met Dimitri that she loved him but those feelings over powered her judgment and duty to her husband. She could only try to justify that this was not real love that they shared but a scandalous and un-righteous thing to be apart of.

Anna and Dimitri are considered to be dynamic characters because not only to do they change the way they feel about each other but they also change the way they feel about their life circumstances. Moreover, are also considered to be well-rounded...

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