In The girl with the dog, Chekhov’s notion of loving love coincides with his notion of the duplicitous self and society. Central to Chekhov’s discussion of romantic love is definitely the individual and the institutions that define him (in particular, marital and household ones) which Chekhov sees as anything but intact. What whole is usually perceived for the surface is at reality a fragmented clumsily held together by bogus and empty morality tantamount to hypocrisy.

In this instance, the intimate impulse comes as a liberating and redeeming sensibility. Nevertheless , Chekhov asserts, the survival, let alone presence of the romantic love is achievable only inside the dark”in the tiny, private (and forbidden) portion away from the persecuting and prying eyes of the collective.

Chekhov (2007) publishes articles of Gurov, “¦everything that in which he was sincere and did not trick himself, anything that made the kernel of his lifestyle, was hidden from other people, and all that was phony in him¦all that was open (chap. IV). Without a doubt what stands out in Chekhov’s work may be the clash among individual emotions and social expectations, disobedient versus the tradition, liberating interest as opposed to the stifling demands of pseudo-propriety.

Such contestation of values can be played in the characters of Ould – Sergeyevna and Dmitri Gurov. Both are caught and paralyzed by their along with marriages, human relationships which are more nominal than actual. Both have problems with a breakdown of communication with the partners and even more importantly, their very own selves. Therefore, the disruption of self-expression. Their work toward self-definition and perseverance are completely countered by conventions of their sexuality and status. Therefore, what happens is an extinction of their personality and therefore, the imperilment of their appreciate.

In this climate, masks are definitely the only way of self-preservation. Gurov, for one, is known as a man of several encounters. His façade appears to be in strict compliance with the behavioral codes worker of his class and gender. His misogynistic gestures belie his genuine characteristics. He “always spoke unwell of women, and once they are brought up in his existence, used to call up them the low race¦. however he could not get on for 2 days jointly without the ‘lower race’ (I).

Convention, together with his pretensions, decreases Gurov to a flat and passive personality. So smooth, in fact , that his whole life and personality can be summed up by the following words: “He was under fourty, but he had a daughter already a dozen years old, and two daughters at school (I). To that end, Gurov can be described as typical friends and family man. He’s head (or better yet, cog) of a friends and family the stability and comfortability of which is payable more to economic and social elements than human being warmth and understanding. The family means the simple cause that Gurov and his wife, no matter how superficially are playing their parts well.

Paradoxically and yet, no surpise, Gurov’s extra-marital affairs present no significant threat towards the solidity of his household sphere. His women are but short lived muses, objects of a passion that ends just as quickly as it ignites. Such transient and cool encounters unavoidably deteriorate: “¦every intimacy which at first and so agreeably diversifies life and appears a light and captivating adventure, without doubt grows in a regular trouble of extreme difficulty, and in the long run the situation becomes unbearable (I). In a sense, Gurov’s relationships to women are merely extensions of his mechanical family life.

Gurov is definitely deader than alive, more aged than his years. Despite his numerous preoccupations” “He currently felt a longing to venture to restaurants, night clubs, dinner functions, anniversary celebrations¦ entertaining known lawyers and artists (III)”his hunger for a lifetime and take pleasure in remains unhappy. His loving sensibility is constantly on the stagnate. Gurov’s fate is known as a microscopic version of the spiritual inertia hurting larger culture. As Gurov laments, “What senseless evenings, what boring, uneventful times! The trend for card playing, the gluttony, the drunkenness, the continual discuss always about the same thing (III).

Apparently the preoccupied lifestyle of the materially comfortable do not fill the gaping hole within the individual, in this case, a premature organism at most. What intactness is gained through the observance of superficial social rituals is usually nothing but conformity and boredom.

Gurov’s unwanted self equals the frustration of his artistic sensibility. Gurov “had taken a degree in disciplines, but had a post in the bank, that he had educated as a great opera performer, but advertisement given it up¦ (I). Once again, passion features given way to practicality and materials considerations.

Nevertheless practically nameless (indeed, one can only identity her through Gurov, and partially in that), Gurov’s wife can be far from being a peripheral and passive number. She enters the story (one can even state, intrude) nearly simultaneously as Gurov does. The 1st glimpse of Gurov can be intertwined recover of her that one appears to be the foil of one other. Chekhov’s explanation of her evokes strength (and to a degree, death and deadliness) uncommon of her sex: “¦his better half seemed 50 percent as aged again while he¦. because she explained of himself, intellectual. The girl read a great deal¦he privately considered her unintelligent, thin inelegant, was afraid of her, and would not like to end up being at home (I).

His wife’s feeling of individuality proves corrosive to their relationship. Not that Chekhov despises individuality in women, Anna’s struggle toward self-definition show otherwise. The actual Gurov’s wife’s fatal is that it utilizes, by emasculating, Gurov. A great individuality just like her hampers union and unity, unimportant to appreciate. The rapport of Gurov and his wife’s sensibility lies bare a glaring incongruity, symptomatic with the failure of their marital interaction.

The marriage environment dampens them both. Pertaining to Gurov “in his home it was impossible to talk of his love, and he had no one outside¦ (III). And when his wife catches as well as reacts tohis suggestions on love: “¦no one guessed what meant, only his wife twitched her black eyebrows, and said: ‘The element of a lady-killer does not fit you at all, Dimitri’ (III). Their very own marital union is grounded on repulsion and revulsion.

In stark contrast to his wife is the persona of Ould – Sergeyevna, whose individuality, at least initially, is yet to be described. Which is not to state that she actually is empty, to get like Gurov, Anna is in search of any life above the mundane: “To live, to have! , I used to be fired by curiosity¦I could not control myself, something occurred to me, I can not always be restrained (I). The amorphousness of Ould – and Gurov serves as a place of connection, a common floor for them.

Anna’s gradual progression from anonymity to indiviulaity is paradoxically combined in her personality as “the lady with the pet dog. When Gurov’s “romance with an unknown woman (I) unexpectedly escalates to full-blown romantic endeavors ” “that sweet delirium, that madness (II) , Anna’s character becomes indelible: “Anna did not visit him in dreams, but implemented him regarding everywhere and haunted him¦ (II). Certainly, what represents Gurov’s take pleasure in for Anna is its sense of permanence and identity. Anna’s face is definitely not gobbled up by oblivion, nor does it diminish in the group. To Gurov, she is the only “lady together with the pet dog.

This feeling of perpetuity is not really bound to always be challenged though. Society harnesses as a more powerful and sinister force inside the lovers’ lives. Their appreciate is taboo, a real truth which they can only postpone although never beat: “¦it appeared to them that fate by itself had supposed them for starters another, plus they could not realise why he had a wife and she a new husband¦ (IV).

Chekhov would not negate the potency, also necessity of authentic romantic love. He would not offer bogus hopes regarding it either. Gurov and Ould – can only think in the present, the particular future has to offer is faraway from hopeful: “¦and it was clear to both equally that they still had a extended road before them, and that the most complex and difficult portion is only only beginning (IV).


Chekhov, A. (2007). The lady with the pet dog. Retrieved December 1, 2007, from


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