While both the original and the reworked versions of "The Lady with the Pet Dog" are interesting stories, Anton Chekov's is more compelling than Joyce Carol Oates's due to a point of view from a different character, a stronger main character overall, and a more intriguing setting.
In these two stories the account of what takes place is told from opposing sides of the relationship. In Chekov's version of "The Lady with the Pet Dog," the story is told from the perspective of the male side of the couple. Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov is a forty-year-old banker who lives in Moscow along with his wife, daughter and two sons. His major internal conflict in this tale is that he has never been able to make a legitimate connection with someone of the opposite sex and considers women " the inferior race" (Chekhov 102). He cannot find any emotional worth in his interactions with other people, and most specifically in this story, women.
Anna Sergeyevna is the character that Oates uses to give the main point of view in her adaptation. Anna is a troubled housewife from Nantucket, Massachusetts who lives with a husband for whom she has little affection. Her primary difficulty is that she has substantial self-image issues. She cannot comprehend anyone finding her existence significant, which is exacerbated by an unaffectionate relationship with her husband. Anna is wrought with suicidal inclinations and has at least on one occasion acted on these impulses. "But the bath water made her dizzy, all that perpetual heat, and one day in January she drew a razor blade lightly across the inside of her arm, near the elbow, to see what would happen". (Oates 394) Anna's neurotic behavior does not mesh well with what this story was initially intended to depict, a love story where the main character experiences great emotional growth.
Of these two principal characters Gurov is the more driven, proactive character, Anna being far more passive. In Chekov's story, Gurov is consistently the...
Cited: hekhov, Anton. "The Lady with the Pet Dog" Literature and its writers. 4th ed.
Ed. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins,2007. 102-114Oates, Joyce Carol. "The Lady with the Pet Dog" Literature and its writers. 4th ed.
Ed. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins,2007. 391-404
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