The Role of the Setting in Chekhov'?s "?The Lady with the Dog"? It is nearly a universal truth that any good piece of literature contains well developed characters and most authors achieve this by providing background and dialogue for the main character'?s that helps the reader to identify with each character. In "?The Lady with the Dog"? however, Anton Chekhov expresses the metamorphosis of Gurov and Anna Sergeyevna, as well as their relationship, not through dialogue, but by providing symbolism throughout the setting of the story. From the first scene through the end of the story the setting plays a crucial role in expressing the emotions of the individual characters as well as the blossoming relationship between them. The first scene in "?The Lady with the Dog"? occurs, not in the hometown of either Gurov or Anna, but in the seaside resort town of Yalta. The vacation atmosphere of Yalta provides people with the opportunity to escape their normal lives and act however they like. Away from home, Gurov, a middle-aged bank manager, takes up the role of the sophisticated amorist who "?felt quite at home among women, and knew exactly what to say to them, and how to behave; he could even be silent in their company without feeling the slightest awkwardness"? (02). However, Chekhov does not leave the setting solely to be speculated upon, rather he uses it to add subtle and symbolic foreshadowing to his story. As Gurov and Anna take their first walk along the ocean, they comment "?on the strange light over the sea. The water was a warm, tender purple, the moonlight lay on its surface in a golden strip. They said how close it was, after the hot day"? (04). The ocean is dictated by the moon, which regulates the changing of the tide. In this page the moon is also a sign of fertility, it is close to the ocean, suggesting the birth of something new. "?The sea had roared like this long before there was any Yalta or Oreanda, it was roaring now, and it would go on roaring,...
Cited: Chekov, Anton. "?The Lady with the Dog."?
As found at < http://eldred.ne.mediaone.net/ac/lapdog.html> 6 March, 2001.
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