In Anton Chekhov’s story “The Lady with the Dog. ” the main characters Dmitry Gurov and Anna Sergeyevna partake in an affair while in Yalta. Chekhov creates this with words that capture a place and time, the movements between two people and emotions of love discovered but contained in secrecy. The central idea of this story is that in reality everything in this world is truly beautiful when on reflects on it, except when we forget our dignity and our higher aim in our mere human existence.
The setting in this story helps us understand the central idea by throwing in the stepping stones for these two people to sit back and look at their surroundings each time they meet. With every meeting comes a deeper understanding of the feelings being felt. In the first passage there is a lot of people gathered on a pier, everyone seems to be waiting on someone therefore not putting much attention or thought to the young lovers. This gives them that ability to sneak without much detection from anyone that may recognize them. The tone seems light but still prominent.
The author writes, “In the evening, when the wind had dropped, they walked to the pier to see the steamer come in. There were a great many people strolling about the harbour; they had gathered to welcome someone, bringing bouquets. And two peculiarities of a well-dressed Yalta crowd were very conspicuous: the elderly ladies were dressed like young ones, and there were great numbers of generals. ” The “great many people strolling about the harbor” make it easier for the pair to be part of the rea; world but still only really existing in their own realm without fear of being caught.
Also the “well-dressed Yalta crowd were very conspicuous” so all the notice and attention would be on the “elderly ladies dressed like young ones” and on the “great numbers of generals. ” The setting helps communicate the central idea, Chekhov did not look for a moral solution but instead hangs Gurov and Anna in a state of having no end that allows them to speak of what is real. As soon as Anna leaves, Gurov does not feel at home in Yalta anymore.
In the story the author writes “The train moved off rapidly, its lights soon vanished from sight, and a minute later there was no sound of it, as though everything has conspired together to end as quickly as possible that sweet delirium, that madness. Left alone on the platform, and gazing into the dark distance, Gurov listened to the shrilling of the grasshoppers and the hum of the telegrap wires, feeling as though he had only just awakened. ” When Anna leaves Yalta, it signals a shift in atmosphere and mood “as though everything had conspired together to end as quickly as possible. Gurov had a “feeling as though he had only just awakened. ”
And at that moment quickly decides it’s time for him to go north as well. The passage reveals how out of place and uncomfortable he feels with Anna gone “standing alone on the platform and gazing into the dark distance, listened to the shrilling of the grasshoppers and the humming of the telegraph wires. ” Each of these an example of something unpleasant reflecting the emotions continuing to develop in Gurov. Anna brought about a softening of his heart, allowing him to love for the first time in his life.