The Lady with the Pet Dog

Topics: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Marriage Pages: 3 (1018 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Comparison of two stories of the same name
A story of two lovers in an affair is never a simple thing to understand. Anton Chekhov original and Joyce Carol Oates’s updated version of “The Lady with the Pet Dog” tells the story of two unhappy individuals trying to find love in a long lasting affair. Both versions of the story are similar in plot, but the different point of view allows readers to view the conflicts and emotions that each character faces, instead of just getting one side of the story. Although both stories follow the same plot, there are many differences that help readers understand the emotions of the protagonist.

Chekhov’s version of “The Lady with the Pet Dog" the main protagonist is a male named Dmitry Gurov. The third person point of view allows readers to only see how Gurov’s emotions throughout the story and not his love interest Anna. Gurov is an unfaithful husband and views women as the “inferior race” (Chekhov 205). He has been through many affairs in Moscow that he already knows that the affair will grow into an “extreme complexity” (205) and when the end comes a “painful situation is created” (205). In Oates version the protagonist is Anna, who is not as timid as she appears in Chekhov’s version. Anna doesn’t know what it feels like to have a bond with a person, because she can’t seem to connect with her husband. The affair allows Anna some freedom from her boring life and allows her to have some purpose in life. Yet she feels guilty for being in an affair with a stranger.

The plot in Chekhov’s version is very straight forward being in chronological order, whereas Oates mixes the plot around starting with the climax first. They share the same climax of the theater, but in both stories Anna reacts differently when seeing her lover appear to see her. In Chekhov’s version, Anna is shocked by Gurov’s appearance. She tells him that she is suffering and thinks only about him, but wants to forget everything that happened....
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