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The Lady And The Dog Essay, Research Paper

In reading the short story The Lady With The Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov

and A

Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin one can see key similarities of the

two

works. The short story by Anton Checkov deals with a man and a woman

who are

both married but regardless of this fact they fall in love with each

other

and have a secret affair. The short story by Kate Chopin deals with a

married woman who is tempted to have an affair with one of her husbands

friends, but she resist unlike the characters in The Lady With The Pet

Dog.

Both of the works deal with the fact that each of the characters are

involved in committed relationships, but they are tempted to cheat in

their

relationships. The characters in the short story The Lady With The Pet

Dog

fall in love with each other and have an affair regardless of the fact

that

both of the individuals are married. A lady arrives in town with a

little

white dog, which would give her her name initially since no one knew of

her

true identity. “She walked along, always wearing the same beret and

always

with the white dog no one knew who she was and everyone called her

simply

‘the lady with the pet dog’”(194). The man that has an acute interest

in

this young woman is named Dmitrich Gurov who is married with a daughter

twelve years old, and two sons away at school. He is dissatisfied to

say the

least with his present situation and his marriage to his wife.

“…while he

privately considered her of limited intelligence, narrow-minded, dowdy,

was

afraid of her, and did not like to be at home”(294). This man would

often

cheat on his wife because he is unhappy and thought very little of his

wife.

“He had begun being unfaithful to her long ago-had been unfaithful to

her

often and, probably for that reason, almost always spoke ill of women,

and

when they were talked of in his presence used to call them ‘the

inferior

race’”(194).

When this man seen a new woman in his town he decides to introduce

himself

and find out about the lady with the pet dog. As the two of them become

closer and closer the relationship becomes more serious. They often

walked

in the park together which made their friendship grow stronger each

day.

“…afterwards he meet her in the square several times a day”(193).

After

many acquaintances and talks he learns that this woman grew up in

Petersburg

and married two years previously. “In the evening when the wind had

abated

they went out on the pier to watch the steamer come in”(195). He soon

learns

that her name is Anna Sergeyevna. Also she will be staying in Yalta for

about a month and she is there to take a well needed rest away from her

husband, as he is in need of one too.

He begins to make passes at her that she didn’t notice at first such as

offering to buy her a soft drink or some ice cream. “…Gurov often

went

into the restaurant and offered Anna Sergeyvna a soft drink or ice

cream”(195). As they grow closer they finally go far beyond the limits

of a

friendship. “Then he looked at her intently, and suddenly embraced her

and

kissed her on the lips, and the moist fragrance of her flowers

enveloped him

at once he looked round him anxiously, wondering if anyone had seen

them”(196). This sudden move was truly unexpected from the both of them

and

Gurov was afraid that someone would see them together for he is married

as

she is too and this is not tolerated in marriage. He is truly crossing

the

line and realizes that it is dangerous to be with Anna in public,

because

someone could see them. Anna felt tremendously guilty after this kiss

from

another man besides her husband. “‘It’s not right,’

she said. ‘You don’t respect me now, you first of all….’God forgive

me,’

she said, and her eyes filled with tears. ‘It’s terrible’”(196).

Although

she felt horrible she felt just in her actions because of the way that

her

husband has treated her. Events like these continue on for weeks, up

until

the day it is time for Anna to go back home to her husband. “…a

letter

came from him saying that he had eye-trouble, and begging his wife to

return

home as soon as possible. Anna Sergeyevna made haste to go”(198). She

is

truly not ready to leave the companion that she has met and fell madly

in

love with in her short stay in Yalta. “‘It’s a good thing I’m leaving’,

she

said to Gurov. ‘It’s the hand of Fate”‘(198). As much as she hates to

leave

her newly acquired friend she knows it’s best for the both of them.

They are

both married and this type of behavior can’t be tolerated. “We are

parting

forever-it has to be, for we ought never have met”(198). She was going

out

of his life forever he thought, all he has left are sweet memories of

his

young loving companion. “And his memories glowed more and more

vividly”(199). It seems as though he can’t get Anna off of his mind

even

though she has been away for several months now. “When he shut his eyes

he

saw her before him as though she were there in the flesh, and she

seemed to

him lovelier, younger, tenderer than she had been…”(198).

He can no longer be without her and he decides to go and find the woman

that

he misses and loves so much. He is terribly unhappy when she leaves and

he

continues to be unhappy with his family and wife. “He was fed up with

his

children…In December during the holidays he prepared to take a trip.

He

wanted to see Anna Sergeyevna and talk with her, to arrange a

rendezvous if

possible”(200). He finally meets with her at an orchestra, but she is

with

her

husband so he has to secretly meet with her. During intermission her

husband

leaves the theater, and Gurov makes his move to go and talk to her.

Anna was

truly shocked to see Dmitrich and was frightened that he has shown up

while

her husband is around. “She glanced at him and turned pale, then looked

at

him again in horror, unable to believe her eyes, and gripped the fan

and the

lorgnette tightly in her hands, evidently trying to keep herself from

fainting”(202). She agrees to visit him in Moscow, but he must leave

her at

once before her husband returns and sees the two of them together and

becomes suspicious of this stranger that is talking to his wife. “I

will

come see you in Moscow”(202). After the meeting in Moscow both of them

agree

to visit each other regularly. The love and friendship they share those

short few weeks is a bond that couldn’t be broken. “And Anna Sergeyevna

began coming to see him in Moscow”(202).

The character in the short story A Respectable Woman is a housewife

that is

happily married unlike the man and woman in The Lady With The Pet Dog.

This

woman is pleased with her husband and home environment and has no

intentions

of cheating on her husband. Her husband invites one of his college

friends

that he has told his wife so much about to visit for a few weeks. He is

a

very busy man and needs a rest away from his work so he can relax and

enjoy

himself. From the stories that her husband has told her she formed a

picture

of him in her head and from this visualization she dislikes this man.

“But

she had unconsciously formed an image of him in her mind”(205).

Although

when the man actually comes to visit she takes a liking to him and

realizes

what she thought before not to be true of this man at all. “And she

rather

liked him when he first presented himself”(205). What her husband has

told

her didn’t match up with this man that appears before her when he

arrives.

After the man arrives she truly is surprised at what the man is

actually

like. The man is not as much trouble as she expects and she begins to

take a

liking to this college friend of her husbands. “Gouvernail’s

personality

puzzled Mrs. Baroda, but she liked him”(206). She didn’t know what to

think

of this man who didn’t speak much and makes no direct contact with her

except the occasional hello or good evening. Mrs. Baroda has mixed

feelings

about this man who had come to visit her husband.

“She had never known her thoughts or intentions to be so

confused”(206). One

night while sitting outside on a bench Governail comes and sits down

with

her for a talk and to deliver a white scarf her husband has sent. While

the

two of them sit down for a talk she fells strongly attracted to this

man. It

seems as if she wants to reach out and touch him, and have him hold her

closely in his arms. The strong impulse seems to overwhelm her but she

resist. “The stronger the impulse grew to bring herself near him, the

further, in fact, did she draw away from him. But she did not yield to

temptation”(207). When the time is right she rises and leaves Governail

outside on the bench by himself. She fells that she needs to get away

from

him, and stay somewhere else until he leaves her home. To get away from

this

temptation she leaves and goes to her Aunt Octavies until her husbands

visitor would be gone and she would not have this awful temptation to

be

with this man. When the two men awaken the next morning she is already

gone

to her Aunt’s house. She has escaped this terrible temptation that

overwhelmed her that night on the bench outside and wouldn’t have to

worry

about it again.

In conclusion the similarities of theses two stories is remarkable.

Both of

the works deal with committed people in relationships that are tempted

to be

with someone other than their spouse. In one of the story’s the spouse

resist the temptation and in the other the temptation is far too great

and

can’t be resisted. Although in both of the works the temptation to

cheat is

present and greatly considered


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