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The Lady with the Dog by Anton Chekhov

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Erin Schwartz

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of The Lady with the Dog by Anton Chekhov

The Lady with the Dog
By: Anton Chekov
Erin Schwartz Intimate Chekhov The two most intimate relationships in his life were between his wife Olga Knipper and his publisher Suvorin.
Due to Chekhov's health, he resorted to Yalta, which was deemed as his "prison by the sea". At this time Olga was residing in the MXAT.
Most of their relationship was based on the anxieties associated with the illness and separation as they continued to write to each other.
Although they wrote to each other often, in their letters they would often be concerned as to why the other hasn't written.
Olga continued to inquire whether or not Chekhov loved her by stating "I can only lived when loved", regardless of his affectionate reassurance. We find that Olga relationship insecurities mirror Anna's. The letters are separated into four parts including "Friends", "Lover", "Wife" and "Widow".
In the letters, Olga is described as being "highly emotional, mecurial personality, and expresses herself lavishly". While, Chekhov is "playful, obsfuscating, jocular,and ironic until the end".
A notable line from the letters is when Chekhov writes to Olga, "You ask me: What is life?". He responds within the same line, "That is like asking what is a carrot? A carrot is a carrot and that is all there is to it".
In this line, we notice that Chekhov is not very expressive and quite simplistic in contrast to his wife. Similiarly, Gurov displays this same kind of mystery in the story. "Dear Writer, Dear Actress" Realism Realism is defined as treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of lower and middle class.
This story embodies these types of characteristics by giving us a clear understand of how life is. Chekhov captures the reality of adultery by mentioning the characters feelings of guilt, disappointment, and isolation as they struggle to make things suitable. Chekhov exemplifies realism by dividing the story into four distinct sections that are marked by changes in setting and mood.This allows for the gradual build up of feelings between Gurov and Anna in different situations.

Section 1: Takes place in the garden and there is an overwhelming amount of curiosity as Gurov learns about the "lady with the dog".

Section 2: Takes place in the hotel room when Gurov and Anna take their relationship further and at the train station when they part way. The idea of reputation and disappointment about life is emphasized here.

Section 3: Takes place in Moscow when Gurov accepts that Anna is all he can think about and in the opera when he meets again Anna. There is a general feeling of isolation.

Section 4: Takes place back in Moscow when Anna comes to visit him to work out their relationship. There is a sense of determination to work things out, but we as readers are left with ambiguous ending. Format Setting Yalta is not only used as a vacation place, but also symbolizes a different life for both the characters. For example, Anna tells her husband that "There must be a different sort of life" and that "I was ill and came here" (Chekhov 1349).
The setting is ironic in that in the beginning Gurvo denies the "immortality of Yalta" by stating, "that such stories were for the most part made up by persons who would themselves have been glad to sin if they were able to" (1347). We later find out that Yalta serves as a constant reminder of Gurov's and Anna's everlasting love affair. Isolation Topic I think this is about facts! I think this is about feelings! I think this is about data! Different
perspectives Throughout the love affair, we witness both characters experiencing a sense of isolation from their own lives outside of Yalta.

Section 3 highlights this loneliness when Gurov resumes his mundane life back in Moscow, while talking to the official. Previously he mentions that, "He was tormented by an intense desire to confide his memories to some one. But in his home it was impossible to talk of his love"( Chekhov 1352). After talking with him, he realizes that all that was ever talked about were "useless pursuits and conversations always about the same thing..just as though one were in a madhouse or a prison" (Chekhov 1352). Gurov reaffirms his loneliness when he states that "he has no desire to go anywhere or talk of anything"(Chekhov 1352). The Gray fence It's implied that the gray fence symbolizes Anna's isolation from the outside world, and is made even clearer when Gurov states "One would run away from a fence like that" (Chekhov 1352). However, the gray fence serves a greater importance when Gurov is able to view Anna's world from her perspective. He realizes that "she had nothing to look at from morning till night, but that confounded fence" (Chekhov 1353). Anna:

"She was often pensive and continually urged him to confess that he did not respect her, didn't love her in the least and thought of her as a common women"(Chekhov 1350).
"For we ought never to have met. God be with you"(Chekhov 1350).
"I never, never shall be happy, never"(Chekhov 1354).

From these quotes we see that Anna feels guilty and in denial that her relationship with Gurov makes her truly happy. Adultery Gurov:

" He had two lives: one, open, and known by all who care to know, full of relative truth and falsehood and the another life running its course in secret" (Chekhov 1355).

"Every man had his real most interesting life under the cover of secrecy" (Chekhov 1355)

"He always seemed to women different from what he was, and they loved him not himself, but the man created by imagination" (Chekhov 1356).

From these quotes we see that Gurov accepts adultery and finds that he is not the only one engaging in such activities. We see that because he is so comfortable with Anna, he disregards that fact that what he is doing is wrong. From the story we can infer that society is not very accepting of adultery. Especially when Gurov explains the two different lifestyles he lives, while pointing out that many of the men live similarly.
We also see that throughout the story "they could only meet in secret, hidding themselves from people like theives" (Chekhov 1355).
"It was as though they were a pair of birds of passage, caught and forced to live in different cages" is used to describe the "intolerable bondage", that Gurov and Anna tried to free from due to constrains set by society (Chekhov 1356). Society "Lower Race" "He secretly considered her unintelligent, narrow-minded, was afraid of her...always spoke ill of women, and when they talked about his presence, he used to call him the lower race"(Chekhov 1346).
"Every intimacy grows into regular problem of extreme intricacy and in the long run the situation becomes unbearable"(Chekhov 1347).
Gurov uses women as a scapegoat to his problems, because "he knew what to say to him and how to behave" (Chekhov 1346). "The Geisha." Geisha Synopsis. Fraser Charlton, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2012. Works cited Ironically, Gurov decides to see this opera and finds Anna with her husband. The opera itself is about adultery.
Reggie, a Royal Navy is away from his finance Molly and begins to spend most of his time at a tea house. He meets Mimosa, who is in love with Katana, but Reggie is interested in Mimosa. In order to have Molly win back Reggie, Mimosa suggests that she dresses as a geisha. Molly ends up getting sold to Marquis, but is able to change the veils to marry Reggie. Mimosa is now free to marry Katana. The Geisha Discussion Questions 1. Is Anna ever really happy throughout the story from tolerating her life with her husband and living with the remorse for loving Gurov?

2. Anna and Gurov have different meanings of what it means to be of a "lower race". Do you think that experience or society is the main influence during this time period?

3. The author leaves the end of the story open to your interpretation. Do you think based on the fact that Gurov dislikes the concept of marriage will the relationship go any further? "Realism." Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2012. "The Intimate Chekhov." Rev. of "Anton Chekhov: A Life",`Dear Writer, Dear Actress: The Love Letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper", by Carol Rocamora. American Theatre Oct. 1998: 86-8. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Sept. 2012. Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, and Patrick Waddington. The Lady with the Dog. N.p.: Bradda Bks., 1964. Print. Living with adultery
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