Infidelity. Love. Innocence. These are all the things encountered in the story “The Lady with the Dog,” by Anton Chekhov. The story is about two married people; Dimitri Gurov and Anna Sergeyevna; who have an affair and fall in love. The distorted ethical code portrayed by the main character Gurov is bewildering. True love has altered Gurov’s perception of women, and changed his perception on what love really is.
The story begins with Gurov alone on vacation. When first introduced to Gurov it is made known that he has little to no respect for females; he refers to them as “the lower race.” Ironically though, as much as he has a negative perception of women, he is incapable of going more than two days without being in the company of a woman. He feels more comfortable around women than he does around men, even though he thinks of them as “the lower race.” In the beginning of the story, the narrator brands Gurov as a chauvinistic womanizer.
Given the fact that Gurov is a man who often has multiple affairs, it is no surprise when he is taken with Anna. When first coming into contact with her, Gurov notices that she is walking a dog. The kind of dog that she is walking, a white Pomeranian, symbolizes Anna’s innocence. She is a married woman, alone on vacation while her husband is back at home sick. It is evident that there was something special about Anna that drew in Gurov because the story says, “a romance with an unknown woman… suddenly took possession of him.” Although, shortly after having sexual intercourse with Anna Gurov “felt bored already… He was irritated by the naïve tone.”
Slowly as the plot started to dissolve there is a noticeable change in Gurov’s actions. The affair between he and Anna did not just end with their vacations in Yalta. When they departed each other, Anna ventured off to Moscow, Gurov’s hometown, to see him. The two of them were sneaking around in a hotel prolonging their affair. After Anna...