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Published: 10-11-2019

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A study of the theme of true love and character development in the lady with the dog by Anton Chekhov

In 1899, Anton Chekhov published a brief story of two lovers’ clandestine affair named “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 mentioned that everybody calls her the lady with the dog. One particular 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 commit a lot of time collectively. Dmitri, being used to affairs with several diverse girls, sees Anna no differently from the rest at first. Even so, as time moves along and Anna is urged to return home, Dmitri realizes that his affair has turned into anything a lot greater. For the 1st time, Dmitri feels as although he is in enjoy. The character development of Dmitri in this story is employed to help the progression of the major theme, true adore.

In the starting of the story, Dmitri’s characterization of being withdrawn and a philanderer supports the conclusion that he has a lack of enjoy in his life. Chekhov’s description reveals that he is unhappy with his existing situation. He looks down on women, specifically his wife, and seems to dislike almost everything about his house and family members. The narrator says, “[…] he secretly regarded as her [his wife] unintelligent, narrow, inelegant […] and did not like to be at residence. He had begun becoming unfaithful to her long ago – had been unfaithful to her typically, and most likely on that account, almost constantly spoke ill of females, and when they were talked about in his presence, used to contact them ‘the lower race’” (252). It is created clear that Dmitri genuinely has no true feelings towards his wife other than the ill-willed ones. He tends to view women as under 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 initial seems to be a shallow philanderer whose view of ladies shows him to be with no 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 personal wife. Several of these personality traits of getting cold and disconnected can be attributed to the lack of love, or any kind of sturdy positive emotion, in Dmitri’s life.

As time progresses with the affair, and Dmitri begins building feelings for Anna, his character modifications dramatically. He starts to appear at Anna as a lot more than just an additional girls. He shows his feelings, and his perspective on the world around him adjust. Dmitri goes from becoming bored and disconnected to becoming fascinated and deeply involved: “He told Anna Sergeyevna how lovely she was, how fascinating. He was impatiently passionate, he would not move a step away from her…” (Chekhov 256). Dmitri is in really like even though he does not comprehend this. He is no longer looking at Anna the way he views his previous affairs. He is even holding her in a larger light than he does his own wife. As effectively as obtaining stronger and more optimistic feelings towards Anna, Dmitri is obtaining far more optimistic feelings towards the world: “In reality every thing is stunning in this planet when one reflects […]” (Chekhov 256). His natural and uncontrolled feelings towards Anna are generating him a happier, or at least more content, individual. The globe that was once so boring and bland is now one thing lovely. Dmitri’s character and behavior adjust represent the presence of correct adore, no matter whether noticed by Dmitri or not.

The change in Dmitri’s character due to correct enjoy, or the lack thereof, is seen again in the story when Anna leaves to return to her husband. At very first, nonetheless believing the affair is somewhat like the other individuals, 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. Even so, considerably to his dismay, Anna by no means strays from his mind. The narrator says, “[…] From time to time [Anna] would visit him in his dreams with a touching smile as other individuals did. But far more than a month passed […] and almost everything was still clear in his memory [….] Anna Sergeyevna did not go to him in dreams, but followed him about everywhere like a shadow and haunted him” (257). At this point, Dmitri is beginning to understand that something is distinct about Anna. One thing new is taking place that has clearly by no means occurred before. Even when Dmitri is around his kids he thinks of Anna. She is the only thing on his thoughts. Dmitri acknowledges that with preceding affairs he would feel of the ladies for only a month and then continue on as although practically nothing occurred. Even so, with Anna a month has already passed and the memory of her is still fresh. Dmitri requires this heavily, and begins a downward spiral. He tries to carry out his life, but the believed of Anna prevails and he is paralyzed. Literary critic, Erik Huber, comments on this moment, “He desires to speak to other people of his feelings for her, but no one will listen. This eventually leads him to a wonderful feeling of disgust [….] Gurov is so ‘indignant’ after this moment of personal crisis that he can't sleep and finds that he is ‘fed up’ with his job and his children. He has no want to do anything”. The truth that Dmitri is not with Anna is preventing him from living his life. He has turn out to be 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 a lot of years. This indicates that anything has changed and that change is Dmitri is in love.

Apart from the apparent adjust in character and behavior, Dmitri’s age and appearance, and his acknowledgment of Anna represent accurate love as effectively. In the starting of the brief story, Dmitri just calls Anna “’the lady with the dog’” (251). This can be attributed to the truth that Dmitri is not emotionally connected with Anna, nor is he preparing 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 issues personal, and signifies Dmitri’s developing really like 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 robust emotional connection to her. The only woman’s name in the story is Anna’s since Anna is the only lady Dmitri has ever loved. Going back to the starting of the story, when Chekhov introduces Dmitri, he speaks of his ease in attracting women “In his look, in his character, in his complete nature, there was some thing eye-catching and elusive which allured women and disposed them in his favour” (252). Dmitri has no dilemma attracting females. There is one thing about him that attracts them, and he is really conscious of this. It appears as if he utilizes 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 significantly he has changed. Chekhov writes, “At that moment he saw himself in the hunting-glass. His hair was already starting to turn grey. And it seemed strange to him that he had grown so a lot older, so a lot plainer during the final handful of years…. Why did she adore him so a lot?” (262). Dmitri looks distinctly different than he had when he very 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 females although he was young never left him with a feeling really like the one Anna leaves him with. When he was more desirable and young, really like had not however reached him. Now, older and much less handsome, he has lastly identified really like. His appearance represents this adjust and journey to locating correct enjoy.

Dmitri’s character development, regardless of whether it be behavioral or physical, represents the transition to, and the theme of, accurate really like in the brief story “The Lady with the Dog”. By means of Dmitri’s 1st encounter with Anna, their involved affair, her return property, and their continuation, Dmitri modifications and evolves as a character. He grows older in look and character, starts to see the globe differently, and begins to see Anna differently all simply because he is falling in really like for the initial time. This improvement is used to help the theme of true adore in the story simply because Dmitri is shown to alter with the development of his enjoy for Anna.

Performs Cited

Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Dog.” The Norton Production to Literature. 11th ed. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. New York: W. W. Norton & Organization, 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. Net. 17 Sept. 2015.

“The Lady with the Dog.” Brief Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 102. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Net. 17 Sept. 2015.
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