Essay on Anton Chekhov and Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov

Submitted By Shannon-Davenport
Words: 863
Pages: 4

Anton Chekhov
“The Lady with the Dog”
Love as an Illusion

In Anton Chekov’s “The Lady with the Dog” the reader is lead by the narrator to believe that Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov and Anna Sergeyevna “loved one another as people who are very close and intimate”. At first glance, the story could be perceived as a traditional love story with a happy ending, but this is not true. Gurov and Anna’s relationship is bound to fail because Gurov is not in love with Anna Sergeyevna. Upon further examination, it becomes clear that Gurov is in love with his own idealized illusion of her, and this illusion takes the form of “The Lady with the Dog” throughout the three settings of the story. The first piece of evidence that proves Gurov is merely in love with an illusion occurs in Yalta, where he begins to create “The Lady with the Dog”, sole from his perception of Anna. Gurov’s first glimpse of Anna is from his seat in an outdoor cafe, as she passes along the promenade with her dog. Later that evening Gurov goes to dinner having decided that “if [The Lady with the Dog] is [In Yalta] without her husband, and without any friends, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make her acquaintance”. In saying this he has perpetuated an idealized and attainable version of Anna. “The Lady with the Dog” is also eating at the restaurant and after dinner they leave together. They converse lightly, “jesting talk of people free and contented” and where they are visiting Yalta from. Anna also speaks of her husband but she never truly discloses any information about herself. Back in his hotel room, Gurov fantasizes about Anna and comes to the conclusion that Anna’s time in Yalta “was probably the first time in her life that she found herself alone and in a situation which men could follow her and watch her, and speak to her”. This statement is suggests that Gurov is creating this illusion of “The Lady with the Dog” because it is a judgement based purely on his own perception of Anna. The second piece of evidence that proves that Gurov is in love with an illusion, not a real person, occurs once he has returned to Moscow where his fabrication of “The Lady with the Dog” is created from his romanticized memories of Anna. Gurov “would pace up and down his room for a long time, smiling at his memories [of Anna], and then memory turned into dreaming, and what had happened mingled in his imagination with what was going on.” This shows that Gurov’s idea of Anna is a combination of memory and an imagined, idealized version of her and he later admits that he does this. He recognizes that in his mind Anna is “lovelier, younger [and] tenderer than she had really been[...]in Yalta” but seeks to prove to himself that “The Lady with the Dog” is real and does this by attempting to speak of her to a colleague. He doesn’t use her name, only remarking: “If you only knew what a charming woman I met in Yalta!” The comment goes unnoticed by his colleague, infuriating and humiliating Gurov. The humiliation he feels furthers the notion to the reader that Gurov is not in love with Anna