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What is the conflict and plot of the story "The Lady with the Pet Dog" by Chekhov?

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argesoto80 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 10, 2010 at 4:11 AM via web

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What is the conflict and plot of the story "The Lady with the Pet Dog" by Chekhov?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 10, 2010 at 7:06 AM (Answer #1)

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In both Chevhov's version and Oates' version, the plot is the same though each is told from a different viewpoint, with a different setting for each.

The story deals with Dmitri and Anna (the lady with the pet dog).  Both are married, and they become involved in an adulterous affair after meeting at a resort.

Both respond to the onset of the affair in different ways.  Dmitri is somewhat cynical, expecting it will begin passionately and end as a disappointment, at which point he will move on.

On the other hand, Anna believes she has done a terribly unethical thing in involving herself with Dmitri.  She is sure he can only be disgusted by her low behavior.

Dmitri tries to cheer her up, and in fact, they continue to see each other for an extended time.  It is only on word from her husband of his serious illness that Anna takes final leave of Dmitri, asking that he remember her kindly.

The conflict in the story is that Dmitri, surprised at himself, does not forget or get over her.  When he goes to see her, she admits that she has not been able to forget him either.

It seems as if they will resume their affair, but neither can leave his/her spouse.  It would appear that there is no hope for them, but neither can face a future without the other.  However, at the end, both (especially Anna) somehow feel as if there is a chance (though neither can imagine how it might be achieved) that something will work out.

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