In Chekhov's "The Lady with the Pet Dog," how does Dmitri Gurov develop as a character?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Gurov's transformation takes place after he leaves Anna, when he leaves the vacation resort where he met her.  When, at first, he meets Anna, he wants to just have a casual fling with Anna, he does not want to make any permanent attachments, both he and Anna are married to others.

Once back in Moscow, Gurov cannot get Anna out of his mind.  His life at home now seems mundane and pointless.  He realizes that he is in love with Anna.  He was forced to marry his wife.  His parents made the match and he had no choice in the matter.

Anna's love for Gurov brings out qualities of goodness in him that he did not know he had.  He begins to have romantic notions, very unlike him, he decides to go to St. Petersburg to see Anna.

When he sees her, she is shocked, but she tells him that she will come to Moscow to see him.  When Anna arrives, Gurov realizes that he loves her wholly like a husband does his wife.  They long to be together.  Gurov has discovered a new happiness in life, but is also trapped by his unhappy, lifeless marriage.

This practical unfeeling man is transformed into a hopeless romantic who finds true love and determines to find a way to live openly with his one true love.  Gurov's transformation does not end, it continues beyond the last words of the story.

"when she asks him how, he clutches her head, speaking of how he believes that although a rough time is coming up for them, one day in the not too distant future they would be together."

Themes include: the meaning of life, morality, deception and being one with nature.  When Gurov finds Anna, it is only then that he truly sees the beauty of the world. 

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