Love and Morality in the “the Lady with the Lapdog” by Anton Chekhov

Topics: Anton Chekhov, Marriage, Short story Pages: 5 (1645 words) Published: August 1, 2012
Love and Morality in the “The Lady with the Lapdog” by Anton Chekhov Introduction
The “Lady with the Lapdog,” is a story by a Russian author Anton Chekhov. It is a story that raises eyebrows and entices the mind as one reads through to understand the actions of the two main characters, Anna and Gurov. Their actions are looked down and unspeakable according to the Russian society. Chekhov has successfully managed to show how self-pleasure rise above everything in his short story. The short story revolves around love and morality as the two characters fall for one another because of their unhappy married lives. Discussion

The “Lady with the Lapdog,” talks about Dmitri Gurov, a man aged forty years who is captivated by a young woman whom he sees taking a stroll with a small Pomeranian dog along the sea shores of Yalta. Dmitri does not like his intelligent and shrewd wife and thus, he has uncountable love affairs (Chekhov 2). He makes use of an opportunity when ‘the lady with the dog’ sits next to him one day in the community gardens. After petting her dog, he strikes a conversation with the lady and learns that her name is Anna Sergeyevna. He also learns that she is a married woman who had come for a vacation in Yalta. They see more of each other in the succeeding weeks and they grow fond of each other. “…They met daily at twelve o'clock on the sea-front for lunch and dinner.”

In as much as Dmitri is charmed by the boisterous naïveté of Anna, he realizes that there are some traces of sadness in her. He is driven to like her more due to her diffidence and angularity of innocent youth (Chekhov 3). This reminds Dmitri of his young adolescent daughter. They spend most evenings together enjoying the sunset view at Oreanda. This view excites them. Anna’s happiness fades away with thoughts that her husband would soon ask for her return. This comes to pass when she receives a letter and she has to leave Dmitri, something she parallels to fate.

After Anna’s departure, Dmitri tries to keep himself busy with the hope that he will forget about Anna. For instance, he immerses his time in working long hours at his bank, reading newspapers and visiting his clubs. Unfortunately, this does not come to pass and he tends to alienate himself. When all becomes unbearable, he takes a train to Saratov to visit Anna. After hours of searching, they finally meet at an Opera House (Chekhov 14). Dmitri steals a chance with Anna, something that rekindles their old feelings and romance. Anna promises to visit Moscow so they can see each other again. As the story ends, we are told of Anna’s visit and how much Dmitri hopes for their happy ending, although he knows that it is not an easy task and that they must do much to be unbound from the intolerable bonds that prevent them from living openly. “... They knew they still had still a long road ahead of them.”

Chekhov majors his story on two characters in love: Dmitri and Anna. Dmitri Gurov is the protagonist of the story. He is a forty year-old banker who is excessively rich. He is a family man; a father to three. He is a womanizer who seizes any opportunity that comes his way. His disparaging and shallow attitude towards women is as a result of the pain he underwent after being forced to marry his wife while he was still a student in the university. It is in one of his many acquaintances’ that he meets Anna and the unexpected happens, he deeply falls in love with her.

Anna Sergeyevna is also an important character in the story. She is young and married only for two years. Unlike Dmitri, she is morally upright, although they have one thing in common; they are unhappy in their marriages. She has an affair with Dmitri and this makes her unhappy since she views herself as a woman who has fallen “… I am a bad low woman.” She has a feeling that she has lied to herself and to her husband. The love she has for Dmitri intensifies when Dmitri pays a visit to Saratov. She...
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