Literary analysis: The Lady with the Pet Dog, by Anton Chekhov

Every great writer has a unique ability that makes him or her great. When we studied Hemingway, it seemed to be his unusual ability to write a story from another person’s perspective. Not only that, but he could also unite that story with symbols that conveyed a certain idea. Chekhov’s great ability is similar to Hemingway’s. I would say that the plain accuracy of Chekhov’s characters is what makes this story great. Not only does he create them in such a way that they feel real, but they do the things that real people would do. Several times throughout “The Lady With The Pet Dog” I found myself smiling because I could relate to one of the characters. Often some of the truest things stun you when they are put down on paper.

One thing that this piece does is it attempts to make you feel bad for the two adulterers. The fact that they are deceiving their lawful spouses and doing horrendous acts is downplayed. Chekov doesn’t even disclose the names of the spouses in the story; these characters are flat and unimportant. The main thing that we know about them is that they are unhappy too. It’s been said that if you make a rule about general literature (i.e. the protagonist must have some virtue), it will be challenged by the geniuses who want to prove the rule-makers wrong. An outside glance at Gurov show that he in fact is lacking true virtue; within the book it’s hard to say that he’s a bad person. How does Chekhov do this? By making him just like you and me.

I’m going to go into some detail about at least one of the scenes that stuck with me because it’s true to human nature. It’s minute, but it seems to be right on. At the end of the first act, Gurov thinks something to himself. It takes place after he spends the day with her and after he becomes very comfortable with her. He says to himself, “There’s something pathetic about her, though.” That line caused me to laugh out loud. It’s so true to reality. Here’s why.

In this world there are too many girls who are seeking after handsome men. To be honest, I think that is one of the most pathetic things. I’ve had girls come up to be and try to start conversation or try to come on to me, and it’s not attractive to me at all. It puts a label on her forehead that says “Deep down I’m unhappy and desperate!” There have been many times when a girl will try to flirt with me, and, for fun, I will flirt back (like in the story), but we part ways it’s always, “There’s something pathetic about

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