The Lady with the Pet Dog Character Analysis

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It’s simple; everyone wants to find love, their soul mate. The short story, “The Lady with the Pet Dog” by Anton Chekhov, describes the trials and tribulations people put themselves through to find true love. The two main characters, Gurov and Anna, are trapped in loveless marriages, secretly searching for something more. Anna lives during a time in Russia where women are submissive to men, “soul mates” were chosen by perspective parents, and divorce was not an option. Her lover, Gurov, describes her as timid, naïve, and urgently passionate; but it is ultimately her provoking inexperience that leads them to fall in love with each other. Anna portrays a young, innocent woman who lacks confidence, respect, and love. She is faced with what she believes to be the ultimate betrayal – adulterous affairs of the heart; however, Anna is on the quest to find true love, just like everyone else. When Gurov and Anna first indulge in their feelings for each other, Anna feels “…a sense of embarrassment…”(207). She had not explored feelings of this magnitude before, and acted as a teenager with their first love. Anna lacks confidence in herself as a lover to know how Gurov feels about her, and is “troubled now by jealousy and now by the fear...”. (209) This is surprising to Gurov, who had never dealt with a woman as inexperienced as Anna before; he did not expect her to react in such a way. He had only known women who were seeking pleasure, rather than intimacy and passion. As she becomes more aware of herself as a woman, her lack of self-confidence is evident when she becomes to think of herself as a “vile, vulgar woman whom anyone may despise.” (208) Anna’s expectations of men are directly related to how her husband treats her. “My husband may be a good, honest man, but he is a flunkey!” Her husband does not treat her with the respect she deserves, nor does he shower her with adoring devotion. She feels as though Gurov, a typical man, will not respect her...
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