The Lady with the Pet Dog Questions and Answers
by Joyce Carol Oates

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In Joyce Carol Oates' "The Lady with the Pet Dog," is there a resolution to the conflict? In Joyce Carol Oates' "The Lady with the Pet Dog," is there a resolution to the conflict?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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For Anna, there is an internal resolution as her mental processes undergo a shift in philosophical outlook. She comes to view her desirable affair with its undesirable spiritual and psychological affects as a "true" marriage, thus ridding herself of her most torturous internal suffering. Whether the gentleman in question will agree to the new perspective is more dubious.

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Yes, I agree with #2 in that Oates gives us a rather depressing ending and one that we doubt is actually a resolution in the sense that we normally refer to in terms of conflicts being resolved. Clearly, the biggest conflict that Anna faces is an internal one, as she struggles between the shame of committing adultery but also the way that her marriage is dead and does not satisfy her needs. However, her decision at the end to...

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