The Lady With the Dog
Love For Animals As a Symbol Of Humanism
The Lady with the Dog is one of Anton Chekhov’s most recognized and surely one of his most appreciated stories. It displays Chekhov’s writing style quite well as he is a subtle author who is great at integrating intensity throughout his stories. He brings to life the characters feelings without using too many words to describe them which makes the story even more captivating to the reader. The main theme of this short story is marriage, fidelity and true love. Gurov, a known womanizer, is married to a woman he does not love. He cheats on her endlessly and spends significant time away from home. Since his experience with women and love are not very conventional to say the least, Gurov develops a significant hatred for woman. One day, he meets a married woman named Anna who is also left unfulfilled by her relationship. That first meeting with Anna gives Gurov hope and leads to think she might possibly change him for the better. The lady with the Dog conceptualizes modern expectations of marriage and fidelity predefined by our society and reveals that real love is hard to find and even harder to maintain. Love is a vague but beautiful notion and there is no secret formula to obtain it, some people find love at first sight while others get married too soon and realize they aren’t fully dedicated to their relationship. This theory is explored in The Lady with the Dog throughout Gurov’s struggle with accepting the reality of his seemingly broken marriage and finding someone that genuinely captivates him and makes him reconsider his false ideals.
Both characters in this short story are married but neither of them is happy with their marriage, which in turn makes them quite open to finding true love. Although their marital status is the same, the most significant difference between the two is in the way they portray their infidelity. While Anna shows remorse and the thought of her husband keeps her from destroying her marriage, Gurov has been having affairs for years yet he feels trapped in his marriage and hates it so much he prefers being away from home. In fact, the only thing keeping his relationship together is his 12-year-old daughter. Gurov has been married for a long time, but his relationship is not very solid, and he is not trying to solve everything. Instead, he prefers to stay away from home and escape his reality. He has a very sexist and ancient view of society and he cheats on his wife repeatedly to keep his loneliness hidden beneath the surface. The story sets as Gurov is about to meet yet another female friend and seduces her into keeping him company. This rendezvous is a moment of deception for Gurov as he soon finds out that Anna is nothing like any of his previous conquests.
Furthermore, Dmitri Gurov’s honest opinion of women is portrayed within the very first part of the story and it is not a good one. He thinks all women are stupid and he even cheats on his own wife all the time. He often talks about her in a degrading way. “She read a great deal, used phonetic spelling, called him husband, not Dmitri, but Dimitri, and he secretly considered her unintelligent, narrow, inelegant, was afraid of her, and did not like to be home”. He also mentions women in general as “The Lower Race.” He is the definition of a misogynist and a sexist. Although Gurov seems like a horrible person, he is in fact a great man with a much greater heart. Unfortunately for him, he had never met the right woman to open his heart up to and had never experienced the delicacies of true love. After meeting Anna, this would all start to change. During the days following the pair’s first encounter, Gurov’s entire perspective quickly became different. For the first time in his life, his supposed interest in someone was not a façade. This becomes apparent to the reader, when not too long after the two go their separate ways, Gurov starts to miss Anna and his days become unbearable without her because she is all he can think about. Her memory follows him all the way to Moscow. His misogynistic way of thinking also begins to fade as Gurov is falling in love.
Finally, Gurov is very hypocritical, he cannot live without women, yet he qualifies them as inferior to men. He falls within the social etiquette of a Russian man, he practices the same lifestyle as any other Russian man, he gets married, has a family and even goes to lengths to cheat on his wife. Nonetheless, he remains deeply unsatisfied. The first time he meets Anna, Gurov assumes that his relationship with her will be like any other affair he’s had. He soon comes to terms with the fact that Anna is completely different, she is smart, and she isn’t as easy or naïve as Gurov is used to. A subtle display of Gurov’s attitude change towards woman is when he calls Anna “pathetic” despite feeling exceptionally attracted to her. While Gurov and Anna’s relationship seems like an escape from reality, it is clear to the reader that they both wish their realities were quite different. The story ends on a note of uncertainty as Gurov realizes he is living two lives: one open where he has a good marriage and a happy family and a secret life where he is disloyal and has multiple affairs behind his wife’s back. “He had two lives: an apparent one, seen and known by all who needed it, filled with conventional truth and conventional deceit, which perfectly resembled the lives of his acquaintances and friends, and another that went on in secret… everything that he found important, interesting, necessary, in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself… occurred in secret from other. While the narrative comes to an end, the story leads to believe that this is only the beginning for Anna and Gurov. The only way for the couple to be happy is to acknowledge that they can’t truly be together until they let go of their fears and start a new life. Otherwise, they will forever be stuck in their past and they will never find happiness in their incredible relationship unless they start to enjoy it openly.
Comparison Of Puppy and The Lady with the Dog Novels
There are many great works in Literature, ranging from Edgar Allen Poe to John Donne. The works that were most worth looking at are the works “Puppy” by George Saunders(Page 172), and “The Lady With the Dog” by Anton Chekhov (Page 251). The reason these are the two texts being mentioned is because they both reference a dog, but in reality have nothing to do with the dog itself. “Puppy” is about a family that wants a puppy. While “The Lady with the Dog” is about a man who falls in love with a woman, who happens to have a dog. There is more detail in the following paragraphs.
“Puppy” is about a family with 2 kids who wants another dog, because the youngest girl has never had a young dog in her life, The find an advertisement for a puppy, and when the family goes to the house, the house is in really bad condition. There is a child chained up on the tree outside, and the inside is a mess. The mother refuses to buy from this house, because she lived that childhood, and she felt extremely bad for the boy chained to the tree. On the other end, the woman living in the beat up house saw the family pulling up and wished she had asked for more money. This shows that there is a diversity and a certain mindset that divides people. There are the people who are less off than some people, and their mindsets are “I should have gotten more money off this richer person”, while the more well off family sees the house, and how it is in the dumps, and things “This is a pigsty. I would not want to get anything that this person has to offer.” These two mindsets are significant because this is what is in our world today. This is what divides people, and gives them the mindsets. Especially since the main character is from a family that used to be like the house, and she refuses to expose her children to that.
In “The Lady with the Dog” This story is even less about a dog than in the story “Puppy”. In this story, there is a married man who sees a woman with a dog, and starts having an affair with her. They enjoy it for a while, but then the lady with the dog has to go back to where she came from. The man misses her so much that he went to where she lives and approached her in front of her husband and demanded her attention. She however did not want to continue the affair because it was just a silly thing that gave her excitement because she wanted to rebel a little, but now she want to be back in her life. She finally agrees to visit him sometimes, as long as he left her alone at her home. This is significant because the man wants to have a exciting affair, with a younger woman, but she is not completely happy, When she heads back, the man realizes that he truly loved her, but they had only known eachother for a few months. Then he goes so far to travel to a different country. She does not love him, and he was just another person. He harassed her so much that he agreed to visit him, then one day, he realized he was getting older, and he wasted his whole life on the Lady with the Dog, that he didn’t try to pay attention to his actual wife or his daughter. This all bring a certain sadness to the whole thing. Making this a very weird and oddly touching story.
Overall, these two stories have their own significance, and have mostly nothing to do with the story itself. With the family looking down on someone with less money, and the man who had an affair for all his life with a woman he barely knew. This lady happened to have a dog which represented the title of the story. They also happened to have the same peron, but not the same type of narration, they both have their own significance, and they both have a family that relies upon them to not make the same mistakes as the previous pasts indicate. These are the sories of “Puppy”, and “The Lady with the Dog”.
Main Ideas Of Lady With the Dog by Anton Chekhov
The Misogynistic Themes Presented in The Lady with the Dog by Anton Chekhov
The way women are viewed in society is ever changing. For example, women can now vote and hold higher positions in their job field. Do not let this fool you, there is still much more to be done in terms of gender equality. These rights and freedoms that are considered normal in 2015 heavily contrast the way that women were treated just a century ago. While some are aware of the dehumanizing treatment of women many years ago, to live it is an entirely different experience. In 1899, in the city of Yalta, which is part of what is now the Crimea Republic, the short story The Lady with the Dog written by Anton Chekhov takes place. While being totally unacceptable, this treatment was considered normal back then. The misogynistic undertones of this story are nothing short of obvious, the sexualisation of Anna Sergeyevna’s youthfulness, the objectification of her as a woman, and the treatment of women as if they were inferior to men express this quite strongly. Viewing The Lady with the Dog through a feminist lens allows readers to realize how the protagonist, Dmitri Dmitrich Gurov, is a misogynist.
Repeatedly throughout the early portion of this short story, Dmitri sexualizes Anna’s youthful appearance and demeanour. Her obedient nature and small build are especially attractive to him, seemingly because this would almost automatically put Dmitri in the dominant position, which he says that he feels more confident in. This is stated early on:
He was bored and ill-at-ease in the company of men, with whom he was always cold and reserved, but felt quite at home among women, and knew exactly what to say to them, and how to behave; he could even be silent in their company without feeling the slightest awkwardness. There was an elusive charm in his appearance and disposition which attracted women and caught their sympathies. (Chekhov 66)
This elusive charm he speaks of is normal for any man to feel like he does in that time period, because women were expected to treat men with the utmost respect, no matter the circumstance. After meeting Anna, and of course feeling as if he had won her over, he reflects on Anna’s youthful nature. He recalls, “. . . [O]nly a very short time ago she had been a schoolgirl, like his own daughter, learning her lessons, he remembers how much there was of a shyness and constraint in her laughter, in her way of conversing with a stranger . . . He recalled her slender, delicate neck, her fine grey eyes” (Chekhov 68). The fact that Dmitri compares Anna to his daughter is not only mildly disturbing, but indicates how old Anna is in comparison to Dmitri; a married man with three children: a twelve-year-old daughter and two school-aged sons. Clearly, Dmitri likes his mistresses young and innocent looking. Sexualizing youthful characteristics is a classic misogynistic trait, ranging from shaming school-aged girls for showing their shoulders at school to fetishizing younger looking girls. Dmitri possesses the latter part of the trait.
Throughout the passage, woman are spoken of, mainly by physical attributes, as if the protagonist were describing furniture or food. For both of those objects, age presents wear and deterioration, Dmitri believes that the same goes for older women. This objectification demonstrates how women were valued in his life. When describing his current wife, whom he is frequently disloyal to, he focuses mainly on her physical aspects. Due to how dull he thinks that she is, the way he describes her personality sounds just as dull. Since his wife has matured, grown as a person since their marriage, and is no longer young and “pretty” according to Dmitri’s standards, he has lost interest. His wife is introduced in the beginning of the story. Dmitri describes her as:
. . . [A] tall, black browed woman, erect, dignified, imposing, and, as she said of herself, a “thinker” . . . and though he secretly considered her shallow, narrow-minded, and dowdy . . . It was long since he had first begun deceiving her and he was now constantly unfaithful to her, (Chekhov 66)
As stated before, Dmitri was constantly cheating on his wife, meaning that he had many one night stands. He refers to these women that he involves himself with as “the lower race” (Chekhov 66) and says “. . . [T]he ample lessons he had received from bitter experience entitled him to call them whatever he liked.” (Chekhov 66) Dmitri also talks about his sexual relationships, and how once they begin evolving into something more, he becomes annoyed, implying that women are nothing more than sexual objects. He tells the reader:
“Repeated and bitter experience had taught him that every fresh new intimacy, while at first introducing such pleasant variety into everyday life, and offering itself as a charming, light adventure, inevitably developed, among decent people . . . into a problem of excessive complication leading to an intolerably irksome situation. But every time he encountered an attractive woman he forgot all about this experience, the desire for life surged up in him, and everything suddenly seemed simple and amusing. (Chekhov 66)
Basically, he likes being involved with women until they express some sort of emotion.
Dmitri sees women as purely sexual objects, and if any other emotion is expressed, other than lust, he is annoyed by her. He also mentions other occurrences where feelings have developed, calling “talk” unnecessary. To Dmitri, women serve no other purpose but to satisfy him sexually, yet another common belief amongst misogynists.
Overall, women are seen as inferior to men in this passage, not just demonstrated by Dmitri’s actions towards them, but his thoughts about them express this conceived classification as well. As previously stated, Dmitri has cheated on his wife countless times, prefers to associate himself with women because he feels superior to them and knows that they are obligated to respect him regardless of his behaviour, and refers to women as the lower race. Before Dmitri and Anna had sex, Anna breaks down, afraid that if they go through with the planned activity, that he will no longer respect her. She insulted herself a few times, “. . . I came here …. And I started going about like one possessed, like a madwoman … and now I have become an ordinary, worthless woman, and everyone has the right to despise me.” (Chekhov 70) While Anna is not wrong about how immoral it is to cheat on your spouse, a man would not have thrown this same fit. Dmitri, for example, feels no shame for being unfaithful to his wife, he goes about his life as if he were never married. This is learned behaviour; women, back in the time of this short story, were taught to please their husband, and that was their sole purpose. Men, on the other hand, were taught that women were meant to serve them, and that their wife is their property. For all that the reader knows, Dmitri’s wife could have been fully aware that he was being disloyal, but she probably felt that she was in no place to speak up on the subject. The underlying misogynistic themes in this passage really are not so underlying after all, and Dmitri does not fail to express how inferior women appear to him.
Using feminist criticism, one can clearly see that the protagonist of The Lady with the Dog is a misogynist. The misogynistic undertones in this story are very prominent; the sexualisation of Anna Sergeyevna’s youthfulness, objectification of the female characters, and treating women as inferior express these themes in very pronounced way. The year that this story was written in does not excuse Dmitri’s actions in any way, therefore 2015 should not excuse any misogynistic treatment either.
Description Of Love in Araby, The Fortune Teller, and The Lady with the Dog
Love is an extremely powerful emotion and can drive people to do some amazing things, while at the same time, can drive people crazy in a very bad way. In “Araby”, “The Fortune Teller”, and “The Lady With the Dog”, love is expressed in multiple ways under different circumstances. These feelings of love relate and derive from the same feelings of anxiety the characters get when thinking about what they want and what they could have. This drives them to the love they feel.
In the story “Araby”, the narrator is infatuated with a girl he has never met. He is experiencing intense anxiety about approaching the girl he is in love with. He fears he will never gain the courage to express how he feels toward her and let her know the love he feels so strongly for her. The boy longs for adulthood and is tired of the boring repetitive nature of school and childhood, as alluded to in this quote, “I watched my master’s face pass from amiability to sternness; he hoped I was not beginning to idle. I could not call my wandering thoughts together. I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play.” In this quote, the boy had just talked with Mangan’s sister, and now is entirely uninterested and bored by the demands of the classroom. Instead, he wants to think of Mangan’s sister, wants to think of the upcoming bazaar, wants to think of anything but what he’s doing at the moment. This scene shows the boy’s future frustration with the tedious details that prevent his desires from succeeding, and it also illustrates the boy’s difficulty in defining himself as an adult, even in the space of the classroom structured as a hierarchy between master and student. Just as dull lessons get in the way of the boy’s thoughts, by the end of the story everyday delays damage his hopes to purchase something for Mangan’s sister at the bazaar. In both cases, lack of differentness prevents the boy from fulfilling his desires. This scene expresses the boy’s navigation between childhood and adulthood. He sees the normal boredom of school as easy, unengaging, and repetitive. The desire he feels, on the other hand, is inspirational and freeing. His thoughts wander everywhere, instead of remaining attached to where they should be. Longing for the freedom of adulthood, the boy remains chained to the predictability of childhood. Much like longing to love this woman, he instead is chained to the loneliness of being afraid to talk to her.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is “sick” but it is really mental illness. Her husband says that it is a curable illness like a cold that can be cured with rest, but from his actions of not wanting anyone to see her or talk about it, she is mentally ill and is depressed. Her husband’s relationship is very distant as he is spending a lot of his time in town and with patients. He wants to love her but he doesn’t understand her mental state especially with it being taboo at the time of the story. The husband represents facts a logic and thinking with his head, he is very straightforward and thinks about the science. Whereas the narrator is thinking with the heart. She is creative and wild and spontaneous and is always thinking and writing things down. She thinks very sporadically. The case for the narrator having won by thinking with her heart can be made with two main reasons. First, we don’t know how the husband would have reacted to her insanity, we were not sure if he would have gotten angry or physical, but instead he simply fainted. Because of this she is not denied any longer to continue creeping around. She is completely unbothered by him. Along with this, in the narrator’s mind, she has achieved liberation. Regardless of whether or not she gains back her sanity or whether he ever wakes up, she believes that she is free, which is a win. Today the world is dominated by head thinkers. People in power are trying to think and logically solve what will be the correct decision on paper in every situation. Many decisions i believe are made incorrectly due to the fact that the one making the decision will not take what their heart is telling them and only chooses to think about the situation logically.
Love And Adultery In “The Lady With The Dog” By Anton Chekhov
“In Oranda they sat for a while on a bench, not far from the church, silent and looking at the sea, at their feet. It was barely visible Yalta in the morning mist. On the top of the mountains there were white clouds that were motionless, nothing stirred the foliage of the trees, the sound of the cicada was heard, and from below the noise of the sea spoke of peace and of that eternal dream that awaits us all. The same noise would make the sea below, when neither Yalta nor Oranda existed yet; the same indifferent noise will continue when we no longer exist. And this permanence, this complete indifference to life and death in each one of us is the basis of our eternal salvation, of the incessant movement of life on earth, of the incessant perfection.”
It shows us an image of an intervention full of magic and love. In addition, it fulfills its main objective, it is not a naive vision but it is tinged with the internal vacuum of Gurov after having added one more name to his list of conquests.
The time in Yalta continues keeps running, while more encounters between these two individuals continue to happen. But, in the history we see that the time comes when Gurov unfortunately has to let it go suffering his sad departure. Gurov without a doubt decides to follow and leaves towards the city of S., which is the place where Anna lives with her husband. Gurov, driven by the need to see her and have such amorous encounters, does everything possible to locate her, but she reproaches him for the potential of scandal but Anna promises to go to see him in Moscow. Being a promise from Anna, she decides Go to Moscow to see him and fulfill his promise.
Once again, they could meet secretly in different anonymous hotels, always taking care that they were hotels where neither her husband nor his family could find out. We know that Gurov continues to help his son by answering his school curiosities, Anna’s life must also follow the same monotonous rhythm that led her to surrender to Gurov. Even knowing that they are building a relationship without any future, they will continue to see each other, lying to their husbands, and hiding, traveling to find each other, who knows until when. They love each other, they need each other, they want not to have to hide, they want to be together, they talk about the future, and they do not even imagine they stop seeing each other again. They had never loved like this before, but deep down they both know that the most difficult thing has just begun. In one of his meetings the following happens:
“At the moment when, approaching her, he took her by the shoulders to say something affectionate, some joke, looked at himself in the mirror. His head was beginning to whiten and it seemed odd to him that the last years could have aged him and made him so bad. The warm shoulders on which his hands rested shuddered. She felt pity for that life, still so beautiful, and yet so close to withering, no doubt as her own. Why did he love him so much? She had always seemed to women other than she really was. It was not their true person they loved, but another, created by their imagination and anxiously sought, however, discovered the error, still loved. Not a single one had been happy with him. With the passage of time he knew them and said goodbye to them without ever having loved. Now only, when he began to whiten her hair, did he feel for the first time in his life a true love”.
Anna’s loneliness, the possible lack of attention of her husband contributes to the love that has arisen among them. What began as madness and the impotence of not being together for all this to be considered adultery has become that communion, that incomprehensible and unalterable ideal that is love.
Character Development and True Love in Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Dog”
In 1899, Anton Chekhov published a short story of two lovers’ clandestine affair called “The Lady with the Dog”. Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov, the story’s main character, sees a young woman walking a dog on the sea-front in Yalta. It is said that everyone calls her the lady with the dog. One day, the lady sits next to Dmitri and he strikes up a conversation with her. He learns that her name is Anna Sergeyevna, and that she is visiting Yalta on vacation. He also learns that she is married, like himself. Over the course of a week, Dmitri and Anna grow close and spend a lot of time together. Dmitri, being used to affairs with many different women, sees Anna no differently from the rest at first. However, as time moves along and Anna is urged to return home, Dmitri realizes that his affair has turned into something much greater. For the first time, Dmitri feels as though he is in love. The character development of Dmitri in this story is used to support the progression of the main theme, true love.
In the beginning of the story, Dmitri’s characterization of being withdrawn and a philanderer supports the conclusion that he has a lack of love in his life. Chekhov’s description reveals that he is unhappy with his current situation. He looks down on women, especially his wife, and seems to dislike everything about his home and family. The narrator says, “[…] he secretly considered her [his wife] unintelligent, narrow, inelegant […] and did not like to be at home. He had begun being unfaithful to her long ago – had been unfaithful to her often, and probably on that account, almost always spoke ill of women, and when they were talked about in his presence, used to call them ‘the lower race’” (252). It is made clear that Dmitri really has no true feelings towards his wife other than the ill-willed ones. He tends to view women as below him, and treats them as objects as seen clear by his multiple affairs. It would be fair to say that Dmitri is cold and unloving at this point in the story. This is spoken of in a literary overview: “Gurov at first seems to be a shallow philanderer whose view of women shows him to be without emotional or spiritual depth”. He has no regard for the women he is involved with physically. There is no emotional connection formed, even with his own wife. Many of these personality traits of being cold and disconnected can be attributed to the lack of love, or any form of strong positive emotion, in Dmitri’s life.
As time progresses with the affair, and Dmitri begins developing feelings for Anna, his personality changes dramatically. He begins to look at Anna as more than just another women. He shows his feelings, and his perspective on the world around him change. Dmitri goes from being bored and disconnected to being fascinated and deeply involved: “He told Anna Sergeyevna how beautiful she was, how fascinating. He was impatiently passionate, he would not move a step away from her…” (Chekhov 256). Dmitri is in love; although he does not realize this. He is no longer looking at Anna the way he views his past affairs. He is even holding her in a higher light than he does his own wife. As well as having stronger and more positive feelings towards Anna, Dmitri is having more positive feelings towards the world: “In reality everything is beautiful in this world when one reflects […]” (Chekhov 256). His natural and uncontrolled feelings towards Anna are making him a happier, or at least more content, person. The world that was once so boring and bland is now something beautiful. Dmitri’s personality and behavior change represent the presence of true love, whether noticed by Dmitri or not.
The change in Dmitri’s personality due to true love, or the lack thereof, is seen again in the story when Anna leaves to return to her husband. At first, still believing the affair is somewhat like the others, Dmitri returns to Moscow in a good mood. As a month goes by, he is convinced that the memory of Anna will fade away and he will no longer be affected by her. However, much to his dismay, Anna never strays from his mind. The narrator says, “[…] From time to time [Anna] would visit him in his dreams with a touching smile as others did. But more than a month passed […] and everything was still clear in his memory [….] Anna Sergeyevna did not visit him in dreams, but followed him about everywhere like a shadow and haunted him” (257). At this point, Dmitri is beginning to realize that something is different about Anna. Something new is happening that has obviously never happened before. Even when Dmitri is around his children he thinks of Anna. She is the only thing on his mind. Dmitri acknowledges that with previous affairs he would think of the women for only a month and then continue on as though nothing happened. However, with Anna a month has already passed and the memory of her is still fresh. Dmitri takes this heavily, and begins a downward spiral. He tries to carry out his life, but the thought of Anna prevails and he is paralyzed. Literary critic, Erik Huber, comments on this moment, “He wants to speak to others of his feelings for her, but nobody will listen. This eventually leads him to a great feeling of disgust [….] Gurov is so ‘indignant’ after this moment of personal crisis that he cannot sleep and finds that he is ‘fed up’ with his job and his children. He has no desire to do anything”. The fact that Dmitri is not with Anna is preventing him from living his life. He has become so involved with her and he is emotionally connected to her. His life in Moscow seems disgusting and uneventful. He no longer wants to carry out his life the way he has for so many years. This indicates that something has changed; and that change is Dmitri is in love.
Besides the apparent change in personality and behavior, Dmitri’s age and appearance, and his acknowledgment of Anna represent true love as well. In the beginning of the short story, Dmitri simply calls Anna “’the lady with the dog’” (251). This can be attributed to the fact that Dmitri is not emotionally connected with Anna, nor is he planning to be. He does not give her a name in order to keep her distant. As the relationship evolves, Dmitri calls her by her name. This action makes things personal, and signifies Dmitri’s growing love for Anna. In relation to this, when the reader is briefly introduced to Dmitri’s wife, her name is never mentioned. This represents the fact that Dmitri does not have a strong emotional connection to her. The only woman’s name in the story is Anna’s because Anna is the only woman Dmitri has ever loved. Going back to the beginning of the story, when Chekhov introduces Dmitri, he speaks of his ease in attracting women; “In his appearance, in his character, in his whole nature, there was something attractive and elusive which allured women and disposed them in his favour” (252). Dmitri has no problem attracting women. There is something about him that attracts them, and he is very aware of this. It seems as if he uses the attraction to pull women in to the affairs he has. This attractiveness is how he allures Anna. In contrast, near the end of the story, Dmitri sees himself in the mirror and sees how much he has changed. Chekhov writes, “At that moment he saw himself in the looking-glass. His hair was already beginning to turn grey. And it seemed strange to him that he had grown so much older, so much plainer during the last few years…. Why did she love him so much?” (262). Dmitri looks distinctly different than he had when he first met Anna. His looks and age leave him questioning why Anna loves him. He speaks of how all the years of him being with women while he was young never left him with a feeling quite like the one Anna leaves him with. When he was more attractive and young, love had not yet reached him. Now, older and less handsome, he has finally found love. His appearance represents this change and journey to finding true love.
Dmitri’s character development, whether it be behavioral or physical, represents the transition to, and the theme of, true love in the short story “The Lady with the Dog”. Through Dmitri’s first encounter with Anna, their involved affair, her return home, and their continuation, Dmitri changes and evolves as a character. He grows older in appearance and personality, begins to see the world differently, and begins to see Anna differently; all because he is falling in love for the first time. This development is used to support the theme of true love in the story because Dmitri is shown to change with the growth of his love for Anna.
Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Dog.” The Norton Production to Literature. 11th ed. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2013. 251-262. Print.
Huber, Erik. “An overview of “The Lady with the Pet Dog”.” Gale Online Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
“The Lady with the Dog.” Short Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 102. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.