It is very difficult for someone to live a lie, pretending to be happy with the way things are when in all actuality they are not. Sometimes people feel helpless to change the things that are happening around them in their private lives so they seek a way out . These people often live secret lives, this is an escape route from the every day reality that they have grown to hate. In this paper I will attempt to illustrate how this hopeless reality has come to be a part of these character's lives, and what defense mechanisms the characters came up with in order to combat it.
In Chekov's "The Lady with the Dog", the main character whose name is Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov is extremely unhappy with the way his life has turned out so far . He was forced to marry a woman whom he did not love. Over time he began to be unfaithful to his wife, whom he described as being a tall woman with dark eyebrows, erect, dignified, and he mentioned that she looked almost twice as old as him. He lived in a time when proper gentleman of his social status were expected never to divorce their wives, and an even more unacceptable thing was to move out of your house leaving your wife and children behind. So it seemed as if he was left with no choice, and being unfaithful to his wife became a normal thing for Dmitry. He would leave town, meet women, have affairs, and would never be preoccupied with feelings of guilt or remorse.
He could have never told anyone about his affairs, because that would bring shame to him as a proper upper class gentleman. He had no choice but to carry out his actions in secret. He explained: "everything that was important, interesting, essential, everything about which he was sincere and never deceived himself, everything that composed the kernel of his life, went on in secret, while everything that was false in him, everything that composed the husk in which he hid himself and the truth which was in him-his work at the bank, discussions at the club, his "lower race," his attendance at anniversary celebrations with his wife-was on the surface."
Dmitry considered women to be the "lower race" because of his relationship to his wife, and also because of the ease in which he seduced other women.
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a story written by James Thurber, which depicts another man who seems to be oppressed by reality. It is she who...