Lady With A Dog Essay

1683 words - 7 pages

Literary Analysis of The Lady with the Dog by Anton ChekhovLove's Unanswered QuestionsRuth Eshbaugh, Yahoo Contributor Network Jun 21, 2007 "Share your voice on Yahoo websites. Start Here."MORE:ChekhovAnton ChekhovNew York UniversityFlagPost a commentJester drawings are simple quick sketches designed to capture a glimpse of a moment, a fleeting scene from everyday life. They help the artist remember what they have witness so they can return to the subject and derive fresh insight from what is captured. Anton Chekhov considers himself an artist (Chekhov on Writing) and his masterpiece, "The Lady with the Dog" is created with words that capture a place and time, the movement between two people and the emotion of love discovered and contained in secrecy.Chekhov in a letter to Alexei Suvorin on October 27, 1888 said, "You are right in demanding that an artist approach his work consciously, but you are confusing two concepts: the solution of a problem and the correct formulation of a problem. Only the second is required of the artist" (Chekhov on Writing). Chekhov is true to his word in the story "The Lady with a Dog." He does not seek a moral solution but suspends the lovers in a timelessness that allows their unveiling to speak of what is real. He shows us the path Gurov and Anna take and how it is their one chance to live above the mundane. Chekhov writes in a way that brings to life Gurov and Anna the main characters in his short story.Broken into four parts the story portrays the change brought about in Gurov's heart as he encounters the Lady with the dog and begins an affair that he describes in the end as "only just beginning." (882) For Gurov, Anna brings a softening of the heart that allows him to love for the first time in his life. How does love come about and find its unfolding? Chekhov does not answer except to illustrate the mystery that begins with "a strange light on the sea: the water ... a soft warm lilac hue ... a golden streak from the moon upon it" (872-873).The unasked question Chekhov frames is best seen when you examine other works by the author. "About Love" and "The Betrothed" are two short stories written during the same period of time at the end of Chekhov's life when he lived in Yalta shortly before his death of tuberculosis in 1904 (Coulehan, "Betrothed Annotated"). All are works that explore the crisis caused by the culture of late 19 th Century Russia where arranged marriages are the norm and couples live loveless lives. The result of these arrangements is a dullness of life that the main characters in "The Lady and the Dog", Gurov and Anna, seek to overcome.Entering into midlife, Gurov is jaded by what he described as "truly bitter experience" (Chekhov, "The Lady and the Dog", 872). His view on women is unflattering. Although he can not live without them and women find something "attractive and elusive which allured" (872) them to him, Gurov soon becomes troubled by relationships that begin carefree. He is "eager for...

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