“Same Story, Two Perspectives”
The two stories of "The Lady with the Pet Dog," by Anton Chekhov and Joyce Carol Oates are extremely similar in plot. They are both about a love affair between two married people and each couple discovering true love. However, these stories are completely different for one reason, their perspective. Chekhov's and Oates's versions of the story are told from the opposite point of view of each couple. Each situation, because told for a different point of view, allows for an alternative interpretation in the story. Chekhov's protagonist, Gurov, at the beginning of the story is a rough, arrogant, and immature person, a fact he is well aware of. His attitude toward women in general is indifferent. He refers to women as the "inferior race." And his attitude toward Anna Sergeyevna in particular is just as insensitive. After he meets with her for the first time, he considers her as "something pathetic." Since the story is told largely through his point of view, Gurov leads the direction of the plot. He is the one who pursues the relationship with Anna, and, after their first encounter, follows her to Moscow to continue their affair. The fact that he is pursuing her contradicts his feelings in past of his affairs. He would generally grow bored of these women rather quickly. This change became very clear after Gurov returned to his family, but he could think of nothing but Anna. At the end of the story, Gurov realizes he is truly in love for the first time, with Anna, which opens him up to greater, more tender emotions in himself. While we do get a small glimpse of Anna’s internal emotions through her dialogue, she is seen mostly through Gurov's examinations of her. Towards the very end of the story, she basically stops speaking altogether, which pretty much means that in Gurov's imagination, they have completely joined together. Joyce Carol Oates's version reimagines the story through "Anna's" eyes. The setting is also set in New York....
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