Anton Chekhov’s The Lady With The Dog

1012 words - 5 pages

A fantasy can be as simple as skydiving, or as complex as walking on the Moon. It can be said that most people have a fantasy of some fashion. Moreover, nearly everyone aspires to live out his or her fantasy at some point in time. Both Paul, an adolescent, in Willa Cather’s “Paul’s case,” (1905) and Dmitri Gurov, a middle aged man, in Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Dog,” (1899) have lives that are against their wishes which urges them to live out their fantasies. The places where they live, and the authoritative figures in their life, though, unfortunately prevent them from permanently achieving their dreams. Both characters in these short stories demonstrate that where a person comes ...view middle of the document...

Gurov lives in Moscow and Sergeyevna lives in a location that is referred to as “S___” (514). Despite the fact that he and she live in separate cities, Gurov insists on pursuing an affair with Sergeyevna. However, he knows that, “…ever affair which at first seems a light and charming adventure inevitably grows into a whole problem of extreme complexity, and in the end a painful situation is created” (513). The physical location for both Paul and Gurov would appear to have the final say in the pursuit of their fantasies, but both have determination to overcome their physical surroundings.
Not only do both of the main characters live in an unfavorable world, both have authoritative people in their lives that ultimately control their fate and what they can and cannot do. Paul’s father plays a great, controlling role in his life, and knows what he wants his son to be. What he wants Paul to be, however, is against what Paul’s wishes. There is a “…young man who was daily held up to Paul as a model, and after whom it was his father’s dearest hope that he would pattern” (495). By this example and the presence of “…pictures of George Washington and John Calvin …” (493), above Paul’s bed, one could gather that Paul has no true say in the type of individual that he is, and the pursuing of his dreams is considered rebellious in the eyes of his father, teachers, and society in general. Likewise, it is suggested that Gurov’s parents have or desire to have control over his love life: “They had found a wife for him when he was very young…” (513). In this context, “they” could be interpreted as his parents, as during this time period, people did not marry based off of love and often times the spouse was selected by the parents on the basis of social class. Gurov clearly continues having affairs despite his parents’...

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