An Escape From Reality


An Escape From Reality Essay, Research Paper

?The Lady With the Pet Dog?, written by Anton Chekhov, is a

passionate love story portraying betrayal at its greatest . The story

presents a deceiving nature that perfectly depicts real life in most of

society today. The title gives the impression that this story is just a

simple-minded one, but in reality it truly recognizes the mysteries

that develop right under our noses. This story is about the

confusing and unexpected forbidden love that evolves between two


Anton Chekhov writes ?The Lady With the Pet Dog? in third

person, mainly focusing on the character Dmitry Gurov and his

thoughts regarding his romantic liaison with Anna Sergeyevna.

Chekhov sets in the readers mind the nonchalant, arrogant attitude

Dmitry feels towards Anna right in the beginning of the story. ?In his

appearance, in his character, in his whole make-up there was

something attractive and elusive that disposed women in his favor

and allured them? (par. 5). Chekhov even goes as far as saying that

Dmitry thought of women as the ?inferior race? (par. 4). The

author?s bluntness in displaying Dmitry?s arrogant character sets

the story. Dmitry finds it utterly surprising that he falls in love with

what he thought was just another one of his many mistresses.

Anton?s theme of forbidden, yet undeniable love is present

throughout the story as the two characters realize their

unhappiness without one another. Although both were married,

they made sacrifices to find time together and to enjoy their love for

each other. Chekhov?s forbidden theme is portrayed when both

people realize that their parting is necessary. Anna replies ?We are

parting forever – it has to be, for we ought never to have met?

(par.57). But their undeniable love is also portrayed as Dmitry flies

to Anna?s hometown to see her and she replies, ?All this time I have

been thinking of nothing but you; I love only by the thought of you?

(par. 96).

The setting that Anton Chekhov chooses for this story is Yalta.

It is located in Europe and noted that it is a far away place from

Anna?s husband. This isolated location gives the readers a perfect

view for the setting of the couple?s romantic liaison. The mention of

her dog at first reveals to the readers that she is just an ordinary

woman, but later comes into play as a mask or identity to hide

behind as she frolics with her new found love. The dog caught the

site of Dmitry and in turn brought him and Anna to meet for the first

time. ?He beckoned invitingly to the Pomeranian….The lady glanced

at him? (par. 8, par. 9).

Anton Chekhov is not against this betrayal Dmitry and Anna

are involved with. He illustrates this by allowing them to eventually

end up together, and leaves them discussing how they will go about

confessing their love. ?They talked of how to avoid the necessity for

secrecy, for deception, for living in different cities, and not

seeing each other for long periods of time? (par. 120). He portrays

the unhappiness that is felt by Anna in her marriage and also

portrays Dmitry?s unhappiness as well. Dmitry referred to his wife

as having ?limited intelligence? (par. 4) and Anna referred to her

husband as ?flunkey? (par. 36). Chekhov combines this

unhappiness into a this forbidden and unexpected love.

Dmitry is the one true dynamic character of the story. In the

beginning of the story Chekhov portrays him as an arrogant man

that consistently cheats on his wife. Even at the beginning of his

affair with Anna he discards any real feelings he could have for her.

He imagines that ?the image of Anna Sergeyevna… would become

misty in his memory? (par.63), but in reality everything that

surrounds him reminds him of her. This remembrance and

realization of his love for her is so strong that it drives him to be by

her side. Chekhov captures Dmitry?s dynamic character change

vividly and evolves him into a loving and compassionate man.

?The Lady With the Pet Dog? is written with extreme lust and

passion. And it is not far fetched from the realities of today.

Adultery, although horrible as it seems, is in actuality a reality

among married couples. Chekhov captures this forbidden love in a

positive way, showing the escape these two characters are aching

for. Chekhov doesn?t reveal to the readers the spouse?s feelings,

for that would bring a negative drama to the story. This is a love


and Chekhov wanted to show his readers that true love is

everywhere, even in the most deniable places.

Chekhov, Anton. ?The Lady With the Pet Dog.? Literature: An

Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds. X.J. Kennedy

and Dana Gioia. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 1999. 434 -

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