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The first setting is the seaside spa in Yalta. The second setting is Moscow, when Gurov goes back home. Then he tells his wife that he must go to St. Petersburg on business, but he goes, instead, to Anna's hometown, which is unnamed.
The story then shifts back to Moscow, where Gurov finds his life difficult to live without Anna. The shifting setting is a backdrop for the affair that the main character has throughout the story. He must hide this illicit affair from his wife and family.
"Gurov has always taken women for granted and has treated them without compassion or respect. During the course of his affair with Anna, however, he becomes more and more concerned about the consequences of his actions."
"Chekhov's treatment of morality is complex; he is not conventionally moralistic, yet his story suggests a strong personal morality."
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